tv U.S. Senate CSPAN June 3, 2013 12:00pm-5:01pm EDT
and information about their health status even though it should be kept private and the law require that about the employer learning something about it and taking some sort of adverse action. so i think what struck me is the eeoc has something because the of the nondiscrimination laws that i mentioned from title vii gender and race, national origin to the americans with disabilities act which also comes into play and they held a hearing earlier this month on wellness programs. and i was sort of struck.
i am sure all of you expect me to call about an employer or some organization since i come from the afl-cio and i promise not to disappoint you. the chamber of commerce submitted a letter after they heard testimony from the selected witnesses and the chamber of commerce submitted a letter that basically says if employers comply with the requirement under the affordable care act and hippa there is no reason for the eeoc to impose additional requirements on this area and we defend. thank you. >> very good. thank you been very much. we are going to turn to what
now. she holds a law degree and ph.d. from harvard. she's taught at michigan and she holds and a ray of academic and advisory posts. and most immediately she is the lead author about wellness programs and the substantial cost savings. so we are glad to have you personified in that article and on the podium. >> thank you for inviting me. a couple years ago i served at the university of michigan to develop a workplace wellness program of the very type that we have heard about today. i'm worried about the unintended consequences of what we were planning to do. so if the michigan economist and a former student we decided to
assess the evidence. as much as i hoped we would find the program to be winners for employees, employers and society, the work we published makes me skeptical some of these are working as intended. before digging and i have to preliminary comments. first i want to say the scope of the work in the paper which is in your packet is quite limited. so the companies have long offered employee health benefits like the kind of healthy meals that mary talked about. they are restricted to programs offering financial incentives that are participating more achieving out comes. i want to emphasize just amount is at stake in these programs and the rules. the employers may adjust
insurance premiums based on participation or achievement up to 30% of the employer health insurance premium. this is the employer part of the premium. so to put this in context the average cost of a health plan for a family is just under $16,000. so 30% is $4,800. with the median annual income of about $50,500 a year for a family, that is almost 10% of annual income at risk so these are very big numbers. if you are talking about the programs the numbers are even bigger. as a side note, although many programs are framed as rewards and not as penalties from an economic perspective, and the employees wallet there is no difference between a reward and a penalty. in addition, the health benefits are total compensation. so if the price of a benefit,
the health insurance premium goes up, then the total compensation for the job is going down. health behavior has now become a part of a job requirement. so, putting this in context of the rising premiums, the rising worker contributions to premiums and the falling cash wages you might worry about the income in america even more than you might already worry about them. the the part of returns on investments for the workplace wellness waged from the conservative free dollars per 1 dollar investment to the unbelievable $11 which is true has got to be the best investment in america. you shouldn't be sitting here. you should be running out and investing in this right now. if the programs are getting these returns from improving how , i would be fantastic. if they aren't, if they are doing it through selection or cost shifting that is a bit more disturbing.
the programs to work as they are intended, there are some facts that need to be true. we need to look at the underlining evidence for these assumptions. although strictly not necessary, most programs are based on the assumption that employees that have these identifiable health risks spend more than other employers on health care. the second assumption is that financial incentive cause employees with risk factors to change their behavior. finally these changes have to lead to improved health and that has to lead to lower spending. there are a lot of steps that have to be true in the chain. for companies to save money there are other things that we have not addressed at all. the cost savings have to recruit at the employer and not just some other employer to medicare or the employee alone and a lot of whether this is true depends
on what a particular turnover rate is at the company when semidey becomes eligible for medicare etc. we have sifted through about 2,000 published papers from 1991 to 2011 to identify high-quality research that studies the causal links underlining these assumptions. we focus vote on the randomized controlled trials and on and well controlled observational studies that have at least 200 working age participants. we publish our research procedures and our bibliography online so you are free to look this up and check out what we did. unfortunately, we didn't find a whole lot of strong evidence for these assumptions. we expected for example that would be very easy to show that people with identified health risks are among the working population is that spend more than others. it's just one of those things we take for granted but even a first step turned out to be more
than we expected. we found a study showing higher spending and particularly for high cholesterol many studies showing no statistically significant different spending among the populations of all. this may not have been such a surprise to people that spent their time standing on the health policy but it was. so much of your spending is concentrated among such a small percentage of the population. they will want to be terribly efficient in targeting the people who spend and so media are results should have been expected. even if employees were high spender's for the employers to work as advertised financial incentives need to induce changes that improve gulf and
need to lower spending so for this part of the study we look at several comprehensive research reviews and the evidence that such incentives work is sparse. one official correlation and association with incentives there is scant evidence that it causes behavioral changes in spending. the recently freed reported rand cannot and you have to get through under 50 pages to get through it but it's a matter. again maybe this shouldn't be such a surprise to us. just think about how hard it is to lose weight come to quit smoking and to stick to an exercise regime. in addition, all of these incentives the employer can give you to make these changes are on top of the incentives that
already exist when i looked up the other day the packaging of cigarettes. it ranges from a little over four others in west virginia to over $12 in new york. there are reasons not to spoke to the to smoke. it's expensive. obesity, there are studies at the cost of obesity particularly for women in the workplace, the relationship between high weight and lower wages is fairly strong with the per pound per year of education trade off being a little bit frightening to not take off the value of my degree in my employment. given all this, how are there such large returns. people will look in more detail about how this is happening. but one plausible story is that the cost savings are coming from cost shifting. and it's true these shifts are
from those without health risk traditions to those with health risk traditions and that is troubling and this is a different analysis that we've performed on a national health insurance data from 1997 to 20,069th. for the low-income to find that over $70,000 a year for a family are more likely to have the conditions there more of risk having the financial penalties imposed on them. when he the wellness program could be for the women solutions to help spending and health. i hope that a study will be done before they are more widely
adopted in the new regulation. >> thanks very much, jill. we have a very patient doctor. he's the executive vice president and the medical officer. he has held a number of senior positions in health care enterprises. he's taught at harvard medical school and school of public health and holds degrees in both medicine and law and the last time he spoke at an alliance event which was more years ago than i want to remember to our great loss i should say he spoke about how to fix the medical malpractice system. so he is a versatile expert as well. dr. brennan, thank you for joining us and tell us about what is going on among other
things. >> i hope you will contribute to fixing things as well as i did in the medical malpractice to date. [laughter] >> i was a professor of the medical school and the public health school for quite some time to take that academic approach and then to see a little bit about what we did at the cbs care market. i think that this stuff is relatively sort of straightforward. although it does get complicated and certainly when you look at the statistics and things like that, it gets very complicated. but i would just make sort of several relatively straightforward points. the first is that it does seem like the work place is a good place to undertake a culture of health. the professor is governing workplace which is about the benefits of trade unionism from a variety of sociological studies about how you can influence people in the workplace so if you want to make people feel better and get
people better the work place is the place to do it. what happens to the major contact that you have. if they smoke coming you smoke, if the villisca you eat a lot. it seems like the work place would be a good place to concentrate on these public health initiatives. the second thing is that it's relatively straightforward when we talk about wellness. one is smoking and the other is cardiovascular. can you get people to stop smoking and as a result reduce the cost associated with pulmonary complications associated with cardiovascular complications? i want the went to the cost-benefit analysis about the long-term health costs are associated with smoking. let's just consider it to be a good thing to encourage people to stop smoking. and then on the other hand of the rest of the programs are oriented towards cardiovascular illness. mostly around high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, having your cholesterol out of control and those things are all related
to wheat and so almost all of the wellness programs you see out there are the smoking cessation problem, or programs that are oriented towards those three conditions with the underlining sort of co morbidity what can you do about those things? i want to give of time on this because i think that jill covered it and rand and people a couple years ago. we are going to do it in some detail. we can take home the message that there is no silver bullet. there is no one wellness program that has been demonstrated to have a substantial impact on any of those factors that was talked about using smoking or the things that contribute to cardiovascular health. as mary talked about it, there is a ton of small studies and anecdotes coming from the various employers. some have been at this a very long time.
they've been publishing about this for 20 years. but when you actually sort of stand back and do good studies of these lummis programs and look to see but there were not there is any return from them i think that the average observer would have to say we don't have a silver bullet. now there isn't nothing one is on smoking and one is on weight loss and he demonstrated with reasonable financial incentives they have an economic twist and really substantial changes come substantial to the smoking cessation changes and wheat lost, 5% weight loss was so those are impressive and the other point you have to make is ought we have a lot of studies of a variety of different kind of things in the historical context it is important here, we don't have good studies right now of the is more intensive programs, whether they are bigger financial incentives, and
where there has been some sort of behavioral economic twist to try to get people moving in the right direction. at bottom the wellness programs are aimed at rationality. people don't want to have high blood pressure. they don't want to have high cholesterol. they don't want to be diabetic. most smokers will tell you they know it isn't good for them. in the economic approach to service address the irrationality with understanding so the bottom line there is therefore a lot of things people are doing today that may be working but at least right now the team is right we don't have a good true that the sort of what works. so what we do i don't want to say that nothing can work. i do know from the work that we have done that you have got high blood pressure and you treat.
your health care costs will go down and so will the cost associated with this of devotee. the same thing for people who were diabetic, hyperglycemia and that is the stuff that we have published so there are benefits to treating these things and identifying them and i think that is the key to the wellness program. so what did we do? we had a series of programs that have collectively small financial the incentives, 50 to 100-dollar range about basically getting to know your numbers on the biometric testing. we had that at this year, moving up the financial incentives up to $600 additionally we would contribute over all the health insurance. if he would basically give the biometric testing done. find out what your blood sugar was, your blood pressure is. find out what your cholesterol levels or particularly and get abn my check. and then next year what we will
do is get people to improve on at least two out of four of those measures and have the incentives based in the contribution of the plan. there would be the similar value of what we did this year with the $600 so we got a lot of press about that. one we were probably in the 25th percentile in terms of where we are with the aggressiveness of the programs. they were all launched in the idea that we need to improve the culture of health in the organization and we care about people's health and we want them to do simple things to just go and find out how well they are doing all these things they can't even see or feel themselves. that is to get these laboratory is done and then to begin to sort of address them. what we do going forward, i would say that if we amend the program at least with my recommendation to concentrate on the numbers come in particular
the laboratory members. blood sugar, the statin level. the blood sugar encourages people to find out about those things and then go to the doctor and get treated for those. if you go to the doctor and your blood pressure is high or your blood sugar is high or your levels are high, then the doctor is probably going to prescribe medication and may encourage you to go on a diet first to see if it works. then it makes sense for us because basically what our business is getting the generic medication for chronic disease. we know if people get treated for those their overall health care cost will go down and see substantial reductions overall but more importantly the way that we were trying to get this is that it is a matter of people caring about other people. that is these are good things for you to be doing for yourself and we are trying to encourage
you to do that. we know everyone doesn't do it and so these economic incentives are just meant as a way to sort of encourage things. now, this does come back to the culture of health and the organization. that puts a slightly different twist on it. first of all i think it's important for the employer to be saying cultural health is important. this is going to improve your lifestyle. this is something that your kids and your spouse are going to be encouraging you to do as well. take care of yourself, go to the doctor, find out if you have high blood pressure and if you do, do something about that. but i think it is also a matter of the workplace. it's a connectivity. everybody is there to get her and we are all in it together and in some ways we have some collective responsibility to take care of yourself. i would say that is as important as any other aspect of this which is if you are going to promote the culture of health,
you are also supporting a collective irresponsibility. quite frankly i think that this is important right now. if i go back to the health policy i would say there is a big chance that a lot of employers are going to be looking at how do i use the exchange in 2017 or 2018. the reason why you of your work place of injured in this because you think you are going to be able to promote better health in your work force and as a result of that come have a better operating company. if the wellness programs don't work or they turn out to be sort of bankrupt or maybe they are just targeting the wrong people, then i think that there is less of an argument to maintain the employer based insurance and a lot of them are going to be looking at sort of what should we be doing with the exchange's said it is a critical time to be examining the wellness programs. i would say with regard to the hours we don't know what is going to work so we are in the
process to try to find whether it is particular incentives of one sort, mostly behavioral adel conspired. i can tell you when we put $600 in and the biometric testing less than 20% over 50%. so instead of a new work with or not we will see the improvement of health care that's something we have to study but we are studying it very carefully and that is the response evolving to do today. thank you for the opportunity to comment. [applause] >> you've waited a long time to get involved in this conversation. we have a lot of things that have come up that i suspect not everyone agrees with all along the line. let me remind you there are green cards if you have a question someone will bring it forward.
and there are microphones in the middle of the room on either side so that you can come and ask. we want your words to be picked up not only by your colleagues around you but those watching the webcast or c-span. we have someone at that microphone david could see and i couldn't. >> fine with the public health policy. my question is for jill and i was wondering in the course of studying did you see an option or couple of options that you thought could work? was their something that caught your attention that you thought might be a model would be valuable to take a greater look at?
>> there were anecdotes that made me hopeful for certain kinds of interventions. so the story that i heard from talking to people across the campus about the accessibility we didn't really look into that. we just looked at the research on the stringent financial incentives. there's another anecdote important for my new life living in los angeles because i spend more time walking to work outside ic these groups of employees to more involved with lifting heavy things. they have at stretching an exercise groups each evening and of the workers' comp to doubt a tremendous amount from having these groups make sense to have fitness and job training activities related to the work that you do to help you improve
your job. so again, anecdotes. but i am more hopeful about the connection between the job activities and improving health and a way that is related to the job than i am about the broad brush program. >> yesterday we happened to do a wellness briefing featuring several of our members and one of the members is weight watchers. one of the points the presenter made was having a sort of one on one coaching experience. and i think of the community that we were talking about having that first approach and having about 12 sessions they had measurable differences as a result of that different kind of interaction. there are many facets to this but there are some things we can point to that to make a difference and i would point out that week watchers is covered as
a benefit by the national health service because they do have the scientific data to support doing that. i know several people have talked about in this context the highfliers getting their participation up. is that something the would make it a whole lot easier to identify savings or to identify all the improvements and is it permissible to be more selective and more participating in these programs.
the cowboy is out of the barn on that one already because if you look at the usual sort of. of mobility, 20% of the people are less than 85% of the cost and other people that have chronic diseases are on a lot of medication already. they will love no impact on the populations of it doesn't make sense to be targeting the more chronically ill patient from the work point of view. that's something doctors and nurses have to be worried about how they you're going to be taken care of. it's trying to move people out of the curb and you are much better off dealing with people that have basically sort of latent illnesses because most people if they don't get their biometrics done, then they don't know whether or not they are carrying potential problems into the future. >> the wellness program will work to catch more of these
we all know about health care and not having trained physicians, have conversations with their patients about these particular problems. so, you know, it sound like it is the kind of program troy is talking about is really about identification and then saying, go see your doctor. your doctor is the appropriate person to talk to but i've seen other programs and in fact involved in discussions where people who don't know the individual employees and you can't know the individual employees when you're talking about 40,000 people making kind of one size fits all medical judgements. >> well, really quickly address the policy question you asked which is, when i went to the slide that talked about the uniform availability and reasonable alternative under the hipaa standards and the new rules, that's to get at the issue
that you addressed which, if you have an activity program or a goal oriented program, you have to make it uniformly available, and you have to provide a reasonable alternative to whatever the goal or the activity is of the program so that somebody could achieve the same reward. so that is to try to get at that issue if you have such a program it has to be broadly based and broadly available. i think at one point on the practice side, i think it is really important to keep in mind, and i think mary got at this, which you think of these things as a smoking cessation program or cholesterol reduction program, employers really don't. i think in most cases they're thought of a very broad package of changing the company's culture so it getses into the cafeteria and as mary mentioned, healthy food choices. people that may walk to meetings. may express itself in
spontaneous group sessions. it is a biggest loser program, whatever, and that is a very important part of this for employers as well, which is overall changing people's attitudes and using employer as a way of facilitating that, toward engaging overall in a healthier lifestyle. >> what about changing things at work? because often, you know, things that are going on at work are contributing to these chronic conditions, or health stress? i think that's what i was trying to bring up. if you just focus on the health conditions of your workers you're not necessarily looking at the whole work place environment. so besides the cafeteria and watching meetings, mary was saying how much time we all spent at work and we all know it has gotten more and more, maybe we should spend less time at work and go out and run around the block three times. >> i'm for that. maybe, troy could relate to that, but i think the basic
approach is that, as employers learn more and more about this, this is not a one-shot deal or a module or there's one particular vendor that has the choice or silver bullet. it is really about a much more holistic approach getting people to a healthier status and taking greater personal responsibility for achieving it. >> i think we are seeing these programs evolve already from, you know, participation to looking at outcomes. and i'm amazed how individualized some of them are, even with, something, workforce as large as medtronic, by using those health coaches and others that sort of taylor other programs for that individual. >> yes, sir? >> is this on? i'm with the national association for health and fitness. the programs that we're familiar with that have worked the best in wellness are ones that have professional leadership, full-time leadership that is there. in other words, a company
employer, employee that runs wellness programs, that has a background in that area. and that person is there every day and people can relate to them and they can provide the leadership as opposed to like somebody that just goes out and buys a health risk appraisal from one vendor and health coach from another vendor and something else. there is no continuity or presence there. have any of you found that is true with programs you looked at? >> yes i would say again with a briefing we did with fransiscan ladies health system of baton rouge, louisiana. i was very impressed person doing the presentation is head of their health initiative. they also formed a subsidiary to provide these services to other companies and other employers in other states. but this person was a previously an emergency room pediatric physician. then was head of their quality initiative and chief
information officer. and is now heading up this program which to me showed their commitment to it, and how important that they have got someone, with a rather impressive background doing this but we have seen that they are taking an employee and putting them in charge of the program and that really is coming from the top leadership. that they're embracing this. >> i think it's good stuff and makes good sense when we try to make claims how prescription medications help but we'll not do any sort of internal studies. they all have to be peer reviewed published if we basically touting them the problem with this stuff, there's not a lot of good, sort of peer-reviewed material like this particular thing the do you have a professional fitness trainer? is that actually going to sort of lead to sort of substantial improvement and wellness? seems like a good idea but, you know, annals of health care are full of things that seem like great ideas. when you do really serious
studies of them they don't turn out to have much effect. i think we're kind of at the point now we're not sure that what works. anybody who comes in to try to pitch me a wellness program i am sure about this, i say show me the data and it has to be peer reviewed data and it simply is not there. >> [inaudible]. >> the study rand thing came up. we were waiting two years for that study to come out. we're getting to the point where with these wellness programs where we got with disease management. they seem like a good idea but sure is difficult to get sustained information about how well they work. >> david? >> we have a question on how these regulations protect from blaming or costing people financially for genetic aspects of their life. i was actually thinking when jill talked about smoking and the price of smoking, there's some recent studies,
there's a recent study, singular, that shows that price doesn't matter to a certain subgroup that has a genetic structure. so how do the regulations protect people in terms of genetics? >> so, karen briefly mentioned, something towards the end of her remarks which is that, the regulations that i described, that came about through hipaa and then were most recently fin alized following the enactment of the aca, amend the public health services act, the internal revenue code and erisa, employee retirement income security act. those three statutes are affected by these regulations and if you have a wellness program that complies with what i laid out, then, there consistent with those laws but they may not be consistent with all
laws and in fact the regulation that came out on wednesday makes that point crystal clear. that it says compliance with these regulations is not necessarily determinative of compliance with gina genetic information on act or american with disabilities acts or other statutes. as karen correctly pointed out, a lot of that is under agencies, particularly the economic employment opportunity commission and some of that is also under hhs. that remains for employers a major lingering concern because you could fulfill all of the requirements and be best in class for a program that meets all of the requirements that we just had issued this week but still in jeopardy down the road for finding out that it is not in compliance with, with gina or other
statutes and karen did mention, i think the, that it was you, that for gina purposes there is some clarity that employer can't obtain health risk assessment information on other family members but on the employee themselves. >> you know, that does raise the question of privacy that has come up once or twice. and is all over the materials that you have in your packets. how do you, troy, how do you make sure that the health assessment information that you're incenting people to get is, is used for the purposes that it's supposed to be used for and do you, as a corporation that cvs have access to that for whatever purposes you need? >> no. it is basically the process that you follows have a third party do it.
we have a contractor who basically gathers the information. none of it comes back to cvs. there were a lot of, having said that there are a lot of concerns about privacy. we've done a lot to sort of reassure your employees about that. quite frankly we have no interest in the information ourselves. it is not turned out to be sort of, it is not predictive information about what sort of, you know, sort of long term costs are going to be because the reasons that jill raised. there is reasonable enough turnover and long enough latency associated with these illnesses. so it wouldn't be information that would be of any use to us any way. the way you make sure you don't get it, you have a third party collect it. basically any wellness vendors, set up a biometric program. they have a complete set of procedures in place to comply with hipaa. it is very clear we don't get the information and quite frankly wouldn't be interested in it. >> that definitely is the standard that we've seen. so it is illegal to
discriminate based on that information and that law applies. >> and i would just add, that, it is important that employers aggravated, deidentify information, the kind, for example, jill would use for the types of studies she has. so what we're talking about here is not having personally identifiable information and i think, pretty much all of the programs i'm aware of, that that's exactly the way it's done, is through a third party that has information, not the actual plan sponsor as an employer. >> okay. >> it is interesting. i will use it as an example. i was talking with someone from wellpoint yesterday. even though they're a health plan, they have a third party vendor do this as well for their workforce. >> okay. s there is a question here about the incentives in the 20 and 30% rule. the person asked based on karen's comments about the
20 to 30% incentive being paid by workers on top of premiums, if they didn't participate, doesn't the person ask, doesn't, don't incentive programs reduce workers spending? and it, it actually, raise a question in my mind about the numbers that you displayed in your slide. the $1100 potential incentive, whether it is a penalty or a reward, even under the 20% rule, is 3 or 4 times higher than the average size, as i understand it, of the incentives in the programs that are now in operation. so is increase from 20 to 30 such a big deal if nobody is bumping up against the 20? >> that's a fair question.
it makes you wonder why, you know, at one level the employer community was pushing so hard for that, for that, when this, affordable care act was being considered. i think at one level, you know, it is sort of the wave of the future. that folks, until, you know, there's, i think start with pieces like jill's, and her colleague and the rand study. until people are convinced about what level of financial incentive does or doesn't work, they will keep pushing and pushing the envelope to go as high as they can. i think i think was stunning, paul may disagree, the wellness rule, the decision by the agencies to immediately jump to the 50% but to limit it to tobacco.
now the alleged, the reason the agencies gave for that was tied to the underwriting rules in the individual and small group market which allow a state to vary the rates for tobacco but, you know, whether states will do that, some do, some don't. there is even now some pushback on that. it is hard to say. i think, the percentages are scary. they're, because probably the tendency, these will end up being more penalties than incentives and that's why i was framing it the way i did. >> anybody else would like to comment on the, the size of the incentives? your members have incentives of, of usually below the current threshold? >> that is only below the current threshold. i will say there are, i used toby cosgrove, the ceo of cleveland clinic.
and i think he has been very forthright about this. part of it is being a cardiac surgeon and seeing the results of tobacco use and obesity he would use a higher penalty. on average what i see is well below the 20% and certainly 30%. >> toby cosgrove, cleveland clinic, has issue whether or not you hire smokers. i'm not in that debate. the recent volpe and sikh emanuel debate in the "new england journal of medicine", sikh, made the point if you believe in cult you are it of health you want those people in the workplace to do something about smoking cessation. i think he won that debate. toby is on the losing side of that one. you have got to help people to stop smoking. all the discrimination issues jill talked about come alive when you think about not hiring people on something based on smoking. >> those rules like to backfire on you. so you can go online and look at the cleveland clinic
rules and find all these very active chat rooms where people are talking about how many days they have to stop smoking and what they can eat to pass the code mean testing on the day they know they're going to be tested. one. worries on my committee we were creating an atmosphere we were encouraging employees to find ways to lie to their employers. and so you want to have this ult can you are it of health. on the other hand you want a culture of honesty. it is hard to do that if you're, if you're making things very difficult for your employees and they're addicted to smoking. similarly, one of the things we haven't discussed but has come up in some of these more general discussions what is the role of the physician and the fiduciary duty of the physician to the patient. so in some of these programs you need the physician it sign off that the patient has taken the steps they need to take to be able to get access to a certain insurance plan or for the benefit. now you've got your personal physician in the role of
signing off so that you can get your higher level of compensation and some people might worry this is confusing the role of the personal doctor and the employer. so i think these are issues that we're going to have to sort through particularly as companies increasingly start to raise the financial amounts that are at stake. >> well, i think troy underscores a very important point that i think is a critical component of these plans. in making sure that you are giving employees the tools that they need to try and change these behaviors. and to be fair to dr. cosgrove, they do have those tools in the workplace as part of their wellness program. >> yes, i shouldn't say, dr. cosgrove is nothing but very thoughtful about these issues. >> okay. i'm told there is someone behind the c-span camera wanting to ask a question. >> thanks very much. alwin castle for center
studying health system change and this is probably a question primarily for mary. seems like the rub with you will all of this stuff, when you move from rewards to penalties the stuff i've got from work we've done, most employers are approaching this initially as a reward, as an incentive, you know, we'll give you $100 if you do this health risk assessment. we'll give you something else if you actually do something based on that. what i don't get why do employers want to be the bad guys and start penalizing people? because that just doesn't strike me as a way to have happy workers? and what as your sense of the direction that employers are going? i mean have they been waiting for this rule and now we're going to, you know, be off to the races and, you know, have everybody, you know. i go back to what, you know,
professor horowitz said about the, all of these things are really hard behaviors to change. i mean i smoked for 20 years for god's sakes and, you know, i'm an ex-smoker now, and it was a bear. so, it just seems like too many employers are looking for the magic bullet. you know there aren't any magic bullets. i think it is great to have health but i don't get it. >> you raise a great point. i don't think employers are looking to be the bad guys here. i think they're looking for a more healthier more productive workforce. i would be surprised if they moved to the heavy punitive approach as opposed to what we're seeing are really incentive-based programs. one thing i wanted to mention, this idea of getting someone to see their physician and getting better compliance and in terms of medication. i mean it is an amazing
statistic to me that 50% of prescriptions go unfilled. we know that those can do a lot to address some of the conditions that we're highlighting here. so, no, i don't think employers want to be viewed as approaching this in a punitive way but they also are facing two things. obviously very high health care costs. and the tools they have been trying to use, how do we get our employees engaged in what are the costs for health care. you heard troy mention hsas. that is one approach. the other is learning more about what they can do to manage their own health care. i think that is what these programs are all about. i viewed it as being much more incentive-based as he posed to pune i have it. they don't want a backlash from the workforce. they want it to be a community they're working with. >> if i could add, they, i totally agree with mary's remarks. i go back to that the these programs i think for most employers are thought of
changing the overall culture of the workforce. and that it doesn't begin with the incentive and it doesn't even begin with the reward for participating in a nutrition counseling program. it begins with starting to focus on the culture and getting the leadership engaged in factors that mary mentioned too, that are associated with success. every employer that's done that with changing the overall culture has reported to us that employees overwhelmingly support these programs because it is not just the stand alone program. it is part of changing the overall experience of what it's like to work in this place. and that people associate that with something that is really good about coming to work. that they're more energized with their colleagues. that they feel much more and it is true, that the place
of their working also cares about their health, about their activity, and about getting to a better place, whether it is on stress or weight or glucose or whatever. so these cultural changes to the company which then turn around and in other ways in terms of reducing disability or time off but also just postively make the place a better place to work. >> okay. y'all hear that one? >> physically might not be ready for that much involvement with the employer in their life. have you thought about that. >> there are always employees that don't want to participate or can't for medical reasons or other things or other things happening in their lives that will not be able to participate or take advantage of these programs. and that's why the rules allow for exceptions. but overwhelmingly employers report that those employees who are engaged in it, not only are excited about engaging in it but really think it's the best thing
that ever happened since they have come to work for the company. >> i got to learn about some of these programs, paul. >> i kind of think the whole positive-negative incentive thing is a bit specious though because it's all a matter of sort of, the average employer will pay 70 to 80% of the overall health care cost and employees will be at risk for others. people are constantly changing that. you we'll pay 80, you pay for 70 we'll give you a bonus. we'll continue to take some away, negative versus positive. this is simple matter of arithmetic what percentage of the total premium cost the insurers, employer is going to pay and whether or not they're putting that contingent, if you pursue behaviors that should improve your health care. so, you know, i think it's good to talk about it, talk about it sort of positive as opposed to sort of the negative but in reality it is all the same thing.
>> is there a behavioral economist on the panel? is there a true difference between a penalty and a reward? >> there is and there are studies on markets in response to markets. >> actually there are studies on wellness programs of participation based on how you frame it. if you frame it as a bonus, people participate. if you frame it as a penalties people get angry. troy is right from an economic perspective, it makes absolutely no difference at all how you frame it. in your foxket it is the same exact thing but a marketing perspective it makes enormous difference. >> i published papers as a behavioral economist. i don't know if that make makes me one. kind of like a scarecrow. there is a reasonable consensus that there is regret bias that is stronger. when i try to invest in the stock market, i really hate losing money but it doesn't feel good when i actually
sort of make, and behavioral economist would say if you work a regret bias approach in, it is better. unfortunately regret bias unless carefully done starts to feel like a negative penalty. >> very bad. yes, go right ahead. >> thank you. i'm maggie lenoc with the senate health lair bore and pensions committee. talk about small business and workers wellness programs and the different reactions that happen with those? >> good question. all your clients are -- >> i really can't, because my members are all fortune 500 companies. it's a hard one for me. i can just say generally as with all things, with small business that it's a, it's a tougher environment in order to make a program succeed but it is also more likely than to be something that associated with their health insurance carrier as another
service that the carrier can bring to them as part of engaging with them as their carrier for their health plan whereas a larger employer, typical of our members, or troy's company certainly or mary's members, are much larger and more sophisticated employers and can fashion these with the help of numerous outside advisors and, as well, as different vendors that specialize specifically in developing good wellness programs. >> i know one of our members, aetna, has developed a program for small employers, that, if their employees participate, at a certain level, then they do see a reduction in their health care premiums costs. so we do have health plans that are working with small employers to implement these programs. >> some of the programs are also implemented through insurance companies. so the e employers --
employers who are insured by companies like, i know blue cross in michigan has a program that they administer for the people that they underwrite. so that would affect the small business market. >> you will be looking more at a fully insured population there. your unit of analysis would be the insurer is carrying the risk and probably it is reasonable from that point of view. if you think about it, there is drive to self-insure with smaller and smaller employers. with that particular situation we have 200,000 employees. i know i will get statistical improvement overall. but with 50 employees i can't be certain about that all. it all depends on the unit of analysis. the benefit here is not the individual but a statistical event we're looking for. >> we had a question. it is really specifically to cvs but i will broaden it out which is a question when you're a large employer which you employ people in a lot of different settings, cvs case, retail settings
but then corporate settings, how do you implement these programs with that diverse workforce places? how do, ones, mary, for example in your company that are large do that? >> well, i don't think it is that difficult. we're spread all across the country and have some major places. we have a lot of people who sort of work at home. basically for a biometric program you make a variety of different sites available for the gathering of that information or you get it from your doctor and then that information goes to a third party vendor who then agra gates it. so it is relatively straightforward. we take advantage of our retail:s to get it done there. but we basically firewall all that information. . .
those evaluation forms as we finish up here and give us some feedback on how we can make these programs better and you can suggest other topics for programs and speakers as well. i want to thank the robert wood foundation for not only allowing us to do this program but for doing all the work in this area over the years.
we thank you for asking a lot of good questions both orally and in written form and ask you to join in thanking the panel for one of the most lively discussions that we've had in a very long time. [applause] on to the national press club in washington, d.c. where the gerald ford journalism awards will be presented to two journalists for covering presidency and national defence. >> to introduce the head table guest i would ask each of you to stand briefly as your name is announced. from your right, mark, senior editor for air force magazine. laura, producer for national public radio. jim michaels, military reporter for usa today. john dickerson, chief political
correspondent for slate and director for cbs news and winner of the prize today for distinguished reporting on the presidency. joseph, executive director of the gerald r. ford foundation, gerald ford presidential foundation. skipping over our speakers for the moment, jennifer shaunberger, anchor and producer of the wall street report and speakers' committee that organized today's lunch. thank you, jennifer. speaking over the next for a moment, allyson fitzgerald, manager for state news for the center for public integrity and the chairwoman of the press club's speakers' committee. stephen forbe, chairman of the gerald r. ford presidential foundation and son of president ford. hal, reporter for the "seattle times" and today the winner of the prize for his coverage of the national defense issues. rachel austal, staff writer for
global security newsletter, part of the national group, and ralph winney for the year asian business coalition -- eurasian business coalition. [applause] >> it's my pleasure to turn the podium over to steve for who will present the awards to the winners of the journalism award today. [applause] >> thank you, angela. it's an honor to be here to do this award. dad had such a great respect and love for the members of the press and journalism and he had his ups and downs but always respected them and counted them as friends and wanted that openness and transparency that was so important during his unique time and the presidency. we have two winners appear but
we have so many great submissions for the reward for the presidency and the defense and we couldn't do this one chimp without having a couple of the honorable mentions to be recognized. the honorable mention for the presidency is josh and carried down of politico we and we think figure sitting over here. [applause] and for defense it is ander tillman in the military times. [applause] >> it's my honor to present the award winner john dickerson for the reporting of the presidency for the journalism award. it was a fantastic series of
articles and as i read it, much of it was about the temperament of what a president has to handle the problems and pressures later on once it becomes elected and he talked about what kind of temperament would he handle the war and the capture and killing of osama bin laden and the economy and what he faced when he was president back in 1974 in vietnam, watergate, the economy was in tough shape but as a family member we don't think of the temperament of the large issues we think of your father's temperament at home and how he handles family issues in the articles i got bad grades or that sort of thing. i know what dad when i think of his temperament how even
tempered it was. there was a night when mom and dad have the liberty of a golden retriever in the white house and one might the doll bouck him up and he had to go do his business outside and here it was 2:00 in the morning he weeks the president up and pushes on him and he puts his bathrobe on and slippers and a dozen of the father does. in the diplomatic entrance the secret service did not know he was leaving the white house at 2 a.m.. she goes out and he and liberty walked the ground of the white house and do the business or the dog does his business triet [laughter] he goes back to walk in the white house and the doors locked. it's not about all those other things and it's not about dealing with russians and the
chinese. it's about your temperament when you have family issues like that come up. it is an honor for us to give this award to john i want to read what the committee rode down. the judging committee selected john dickerson from slate as the gerald r. ford prize on presidency. during the campaign, john dickerson produced a thoughtful series of articles on the qualities required of the modern-day successful president in the post war era and the relevance of modern political campaigns and helping the voters decide which candidate has those of devotees. effectively he marshaled presidential anecdotes and campaign stories and political theory is to entertain and form.
at the often tenuous link between successful politics and successful governing. the series covers all aspects of the presidential leadership from inspiration and management to temperament and political skills. and the tells how the required skill sets have changed over the recent decade in the digital era. it also provides an even-handed primer on how the qualities apply to the major 2012 presidential candidates. members of the judging committee were highly impressed by dickerson's work. ambitious and sweeping, illuminated by the impressive ra of examples and stories and offering insight on the american presidency. it's my pleasure to give this award now.
[applause] >> speed read all of you especially the dickerson a father. my father is here and my sister. elizabeth st. clair. thank you to the foundation. when i first came to washington, he won the award and one of the honors as being in the company of the journalists that have one before. tom is here, the winner of this and that is an honor and it's great to have this award because it gives us something to model ourselves on to get by not going to read the series as they told me i could. i want to thank the team that helped me put this together. we have the editor of slate.
he forces each of us to take a month out of the year to write about something other than our day-to-day journalism. it forces us to think in different ways and the more expansive way. that is a dream for any journalist. he forces us to do it once a year which is a joy. my to editors michael newman and michael helped me start this project. well dodd and wrestled it to the ground and made a lot cleaner than when it arrived on his computer. they are great listeners and thinkers but also have to indoor meet pacing in their office and speaking from out on the road when i was out there for cbs and slate which makes a common wall psychiatrist. and then finally, the women in my life. my mother, the late nancy dickerson allows the heart of the series to come from the work that she did. she did it smarter and in high heels. and then my wife, ann dickerson.
the editors get to go home at night, that she had to deal with the low-level kind of madness these kind of series produced where you have to go and give extended monologues and talk about the presidency and not ever actually seems to be happening in the house. so she didn't lock me out as the former president got locked out and i appreciate that. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. dad had a love affair with the newspaper and was particular i remember as a kid growing up every morning he would start with a stack of five newspapers. he would have the big national papers and "the new york times" and the l.a. times and stuff like that. but he always finished with his local paper in the grand rapids press. i would ask him you start big
and go back down to the local paper. i asked him why and he said the local paper would always tell me if all those big federal programs that got pushed through ever needed back to my home town. and he read like that. so in his dying day she loved picking up a newspaper every morning. so, it is my honor now to give out the award to the gerald r. ford distinguished reporting on national defense. in 2012. let me read to you with the judges wrote. the judges were pleased to select him from the gerald r. ford award for distinguished reporting on national defense. his insight on the army, army is review of reverse the diagnosis of soldiers with post-traumatic
stress disorder, ptsd, uncovered a multifaceted issue regarding the many challenges that both medical professionals and soldiers faced dealing with the after effect of combat. although there has been a lot written over the last several years on ptsd, this series uncovered a largely hidden issue. the manner in which the diagnosis was handled and resulted in the real-world effect on the military personnel, their families and the organizations designed to serve them and the society's at large. the writing approach is refreshing and its return to a traditional hard-nosed news reporting of complex issues coupled with genuine enterprise, journalism that personalizes the impact of military actions in afghanistan.
the resource to the verify the data and written with brevity and clarity. but this just wasn't a set of the in future stories. he placed a spotlight on the issue of the local the importance that joined as well as addressing the national reverberation that such decisions have as american veterans transition into military retirement. the stories of the problem of tracking hit in improvised explosive devices in afghanistan showed a skill at finding a new unique and human angle on the widely reported topic. as a decade of war winds down with millions of veterans returning home from service in afghanistan and iraq. the issue of ptsd and how the army and other organizations
address its implications will be felt for years to come. the distinguished work will help the american people and the leaders and politicians better understand how truly complex and difficult the diagnosis is and it's on the lives of soldiers and their families. the contribution to the discussion stood out among the many excellent submissions and an opinion of the judges best captured the spirit of the gerald ford award. [applause] >> it is a humbling honor. i have been helping in the war
and iraq and afghanistan for more than a decade i think quite a bit longer than i expected when one of my editors said basically what went to help cover the military year back in 2001 or 2002. and i certainly realized from a lot of my reporting that a lot of the wounds of the war sometimes we think if we just get the right diagnosis or the right treatment time everything will be all right. and one of the things i'm learning as i go on things are not all right for some folks. i also wanted to note as i got this award president ford had a big impact on my life when i was just on of college i headed west and i was in the eastern
washington thinking and could get a job picking fruit but president ford had the job offers from the program and there was a sign up we need people to build trails in the park, so i took the job and i was able to watch the whole fall, for the cascades. i went back east for a few years and didn't want to stay east after that. my whole career has been the northwest and alaska. it's been really an amazing thing. my editor and my newspaper had certainly, like a lot of newspapers, regional newspapers, had taken a lot of hits and layoffs, but it remains a very strong and a very vibrant place.
my editors supporting me over and over again when i wanted to go off to afghanistan or basically not necessarily stick close to home to report stories and really supported me. and i really appreciate that. and i want to say again that time has really endured as the great regional newspaper. last is to think my wife and family and parents who have been very supportive of me over these years. thanks so much. [applause] thank you. it's now my honor to introduce congressman fred upton is a proud university of michigan graduate like my father. fred was first elected to congress in 1987 and represents
michigan's sixth congressional district, which has parts of my dazzled the district. you represented in southwest michigan for close to 25 years, 13 terms. ayaan 2010, congressman not -- upton served on the commerce that has jurisdiction over matters concerning energy, health care, telecommunications commerce manufacturing, trade and oversight and investigations prior to his election to the congress in 1987. the congressman worked for president ronald reagan in the office of management and budget's. and i can tell you from our family, we are very grateful that in march of 2011, the congressman sponsored the house resolution which allowed the placement of the statute
honoring my dad in the capitol rotunda. the resolution was co-sponsored by all 14 members of the michigan congressional delegation and it passed unanimously in the bipartisan support. so it is my privilege to ask fred to say a few words about my dad centennial year. [applause] >> thank you. you know, i'm from southwest michigan so if you're from michigan hold your hand and here's where we are. [laughter] and i do represent some of the same constituents the former president ford represented when he was the republican leader in the house. in fact i can remember a town meeting in a little shop one
saturday morning where about eight people show up. the provider took me inside and he had a black-and-white picture and there was gerald ford as the congressman and he had eda to a hundred boy scouts that had a campfire in the middle and they were circled around him talking about what it was like to be in the congress. he was a boy scout, that is for sure. i was a scout, too. as you hold up your hand and we site what a scout does. if you go to the wonderful library in grand rapids you will see that so much is tied from all around the country.
and you know, our country needed him right at the right time. watergate and the entire war trouble that we had and all of the double digit unemployment, double-digit inflation, so many double-digit interest rates. they all were a tough time for the country and he provided the steady hand and the trust and he really did restore the country to where we needed to go because we were torn apart because he was the right guy at the right time. so not only did he put the country ahead of his own personal politics costing him by all estimates 1976 presidential election, he started the ceiling that our country needed.
and for me i got to know him a little bit. then a freshman congressman to the house the last day that he was president, the last full day, january 19th, 19707. i had a number of conversations with him as a member of congress on trade, defense, back then we had so phones as big as your shoe. i would pull off on the road when he would call me. we would talk about our favorite sports teams. i spent the weekend with john dingell who will serve as the longest serving member of conagra's as history and a record that will never fall and if you know john dingell, i am sure he will be on everyone's
top ten list as one of the greatest members that ever served in the united states congress. i asked about his friend coming and he said he was the most honest decent guy you'll ever meet. he brought that respect not only to the republican leadership in the house, but obviously to the presidency in a time we needed him the most. and when you think about it, gerald ford in a ten month span went from a member of congress to the vice president to the oval office as president of the united states. our country certainly benefited from his unquestioned leadership. frankly because of their steady hands and their faith they
helped stabilize the country there was so desperately needing the skills and human touch to get out of the crisis that really frightened the 200th birthday, remember 1976, the 200th anniversary of the country and stretched the fabric to no end. so they were both public servants from start to finish, pure and simple. and he left a wonderful mark for the love and joy of so many people around the country. i am delighted to know that the foundation family little bit and i will tell you there isn't a time i stroll through the capitol and i don't give him a big smile and a big salute because it is a marvelous statute if you haven't been to the rotunda of the congress. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you come chairman upton. moving on to the second speaker today how many people do you know that have worked for presidents ford, nixon, reagan and clinton? there may be only one. our guest today, david gergen. with experience in the four administrations on both sides of the aisle it's no wonder his commentary is highly sought after. in addition to serving as the senior political analyst for cnn, mr. speed is a professor of the look servers and a director of the center for public leadership at the harvard kennedy school pete starting with the news hour in 1984, mr. gergen has been a regular commentator on public affairs for some 28 years. in the late 1980's he was the chief editor of "u.s. news and world report," a native of north carolina he's a member of the d.c. bar, a veteran of the u.s. navy and member of the council on formulations please join me in getting a warm national press
club welcome to david gergen. [applause] >> hello. it's good to see you here and it's wonderful to be with fred upton. i know why we have such a big crowd today. the word got out that fred was going to bring his neice. she's not here but the rest of us have each other's pleasure of each other's company. [laughter] she is now of age, isn't she? [laughter] okay, make sure dickerson knows that. also, i want to congratulate john dickerson and hal burton. to those of you that our younger, jerry ford may seem like part of a distant past. but let me say this luncheon emphasizes how relevant the presidency and any personal
remains today. i was in the nixon administration. and i remember what was like to have a war on the press. i remember the wiretaps and the way that so many of us -- halvey used to tell us, you know, it's wrong. this is just a conspiracy by the left to bring us down. i knew bob woodward. we had gone to school we back land. and we have agonizing conversations on what's going on, how the pillars seemed to be shaping and might come down. but so much of that originated in the tension, the hatred, the animosity, the paranoia if one may call in that towards the press. one of the reasons that he was important is that he called off the war because he did have a very different view of what democracy is about. and he understood of course when
you are in the government there are times that you are angry about the leak and course some of these endangered national security. but if you look at the balance of the need for the government to have secrecy versus the imperatives of the first amendment and having a free society, that balance is often struck in the wrong place. we are going through a period now in which it appears to many of us the balance has been struck in the wrong place. we have to stand up and say wait a minute, the press is important. we all lived better off when we have a watchdog in the press. if we do not, we need rottweilers. [laughter] you know, and it can go too far. we need watchdogs. all of our freedoms are protected when we have that. president ford understood that and brought in, you know, right in the beginning about him in as the first press secretary.
they had a falling out over the party. and then what did he do? he turned around with who is with us today he became a superb press secretary, came in from television land. he turned to david a photographer and he understood the ways of the press and joined him in the white house and became one of the more trusted advisers because not only did they share a good sense of humor but he had a very decent and strong core and the president valued his advice. tommy was year, one of the previous winners of this award. i can't remember the exact history that we kept trying -- you come in off of the press we would love to have you and he resisted for a long time that he has remained a pillar the fact that president ford surrounded himself with people who came out of the press -- they didn't
always agree with what they had to say. there were times it was extremely uncomfortable when they interviewed betty ford and during her usual candid and wonderful ways said we have a 19-year-old daughter would i be alarmed if she had an affair? malae wouldn't. so, i think rumsfeld or cheney told them it's going to cost 10 million he said know it's going to be 20 million. but nonetheless, he had my ear and understood even in the most uncomfortable moments, a vigilant press is extraordinarily important and when there are leaks it's appropriate to go after who the leaders of our. but the thing we might start criminalizing reporters for asking tough questions. as we have seen in the recent affidavit that was filed, that goes way beyond where the
balance ought to be struck so this is an important moment that we really new in the national press club. what makes our society work? what goes into a space society that makes it vibrant and whole? i know what the temptation is. i know how overwhelming the temptation is. as someone who sometimes spoke to the press on behalf of the administration i was lied to in time. the temptation is powerful. but the fact that you know there are people out there that are going to hold accountable is what gets the government to tell the truth and that is a good thing. that is a good thing. [applause] it's appropriate that we remember gerald ford. he was in the 20th century. the shortest in the 20th century get many feel that it was a result there was an inconsequential. that is exactly wrong.
it is true that gerald ford started out with some stumbles. he wasn't prepared to be president. who could have imagined that? he wanted to be the speaker of the house. when he realized he wasn't going to get their he told his wife i'm going to retire. i won't run again and she did the best he could. he was a person who understood if you are going to be a strong effective leader always go out and find people better than you are and what they do and you always have a much better team and if you look back at what president ford did over a short period of time, she hired eight out of the 11 new cabinet officers and he would replace officers and replaced every case but in a terrific person. one of them was here today.
from my judgment and my perspective, the cabinet wound up to be the finest cabinet that we have seen in modern times. it didn't last long but the word over at justice. i felt rumsfeld did a terrific job in those days. kissinger. over time he accomplished a lot of things. was important. but just as important he had the helsinki accords and a detente and the soviet union that put us on a better path and helped to hasten the end of the cold war to the heels of a very sensible approach. he was a guy that believed if you cut taxes by another you ought to cut spending by a
dollar. and you can cut the taxes some more. but it was one for one. and i always thought that was the right idea. it wasn't popular in the administration my work and giving it always thought that the approach made a lot of sense that most of all he brought a she went to the country. a sense of integrity returning to the white house. and he was a square shooter and that made a great deal of difference to the americans because it wasn't just watergate that had brought confidence crashing down. it was a series of things stretching back to vietnam. sending kids to their death for no particular purpose, lying about what was happening. watergate came along and the government -- there was a sense in the late 70's that maybe we could no longer govern ourselves. maybe we need a constitutional amendment. they were in favor of that kid may be the need to reform this and need a parliamentary system.
they helped put things right. it took awhile to get on path but he helped put things right and that was an enormous accomplishment and, you know, the truth is that as a result of that, he had such a strong poll he started coming back to washington on his birthday in june and this marks another one of those birthdays and he had a reunion every year of all of the folks that he worked with and he was a wonderful guy that brought people together and hadn't seen each other for a while but they were proud that they worked for him and they shared that pride. the alumni group is speaking with you today and there was a sense if i may borrow a phrase from george w. bush that president ford was always is underestimated. and frankly, i must tell you we
miss underestimated. i had the experience a few months when he left office receiving a call from his office in the afternoon saying the president has a speech draft and he would like you to read in. i said sure so they faxed it to me. i read the speech pity it was great. it is a gorgeous speech. a very complex, rich, interesting. theoretical points. three or four syllable words. it was just -- it was one of the speeches that just sang. but it wasn't at all what he spoke. it wasn't the way that we wrote speeches for him. there was a fear in the white house staff he will stumble all over the words and won't quite understand it. it won't be him and therefore you have to give him this see spot run kind of speech.
and so i read the speech and i thought i guess what he wants to do is have me turn it into the week that he normally speaks. succumbing he called me that night and he was drawing on his pipe and said did you get the speech? do you want me to work on it a little bit? and i could hear him start to chuckle a little bit. mr. president, i'm not quite sure this is you. then he said let me say something. this is the first time that i had a pool of science in which i can write my own speech and i want to try it out on you. and i realized this man was capable of giving far better speeches than that crap we gave him. [laughter] and serious it was embarrassing to think why didn't the understand? and i think in the rearview mirror of history we have
started to understand. we work better and better as president, as the human being he was midwestern and reunions i remember well president george w. bush was in the white house and gave a dinner for him in the white house and they were there she said when i was young my mother taught me three basic rules. and they served me well all of my life even here in washington. they would come to dinner on time. it captures who he is why i don't want to spend much more time to get fred and i are going to take a few questions and john and harold can jump in but i do want to in the with this. for many years after george washington served and asked what
would he do in these circumstances? and then that faded a little bit and they asked for years after what would abe lincoln have done under these circumstances? they said there was a long time when they would try to make sure that you can form the way that you va four lead and i would argue we have to be thinking about -- we have to ask yourself what would gerald ford deutsch and the circumstances today? i think it's important. he can out of the war, world war ii as a lieutenant commander. he had 16 battle stars. he was an artillery gunner. they were coming across. he was tough but he understood to become international just like arthur vandenberg had with one of his mentors and michigan
as a result of the war was a very important part of who he was and he would stand up and say you may think that you are in a period of peace it is still dangerous to the figure out what your strategy is and make sure that you can afford it. don't make it a play thing in terms of the budgetary war. i don't think there is any question that you've got to get spending to get tax is in better control and discipline this is responsible to keep going the way we are but first and foremost he what are you we have to get back to the way of governing and if people could work across the aisles with respect and understanding of the kind that john dingell had toward gerald ford and tip o'neill. many of us that work for reagan are proud of the relationship. it's important to govern but you go back and read the memoir and what you find is that he loved gerald ford. he thought he was a perfect person to work with because you
could always count on him. jim who is no longer with us that has left us a new book on gerald ford an honorable life and in earlier but told this story that i always found some interesting committee and that is when richard nixon is president and spiro agnew resigned. he wanted john conley from texas who had been democratic just recently converted republican. but he had to get to the senate's so we called the leadership of the house and the senate, two democrats, senator mike mansfield, a wonderful man. he had all of the glory and honor in the world. but when he died, he asked to be buried in the enlisted plot.
and carl was the other that was the speaker of the house. president nixon called them and said we have to figure out who the vice president is that everyone in the room knew there was a chance that nixon wasn't going to survive. nixon said i would like to put john connally on and they said do not do that, please do not try that. he is slippery. we don't trust him. he's not a man of his word. and he said both of them volunteered. please. he is a man that we trust. we can work across the aisle and we will have a better country with gerald ford there. the democrats made a journal for president and that is a remarkable tribute to him and why we continue to celebrate him today. thank you. [applause]
i will invite both you and chairman upton to join me up here and we have a question some opposed decomposed to you specifically and some to both of you are either. we will start with a common fema that you address in your remarks, that is by partisanship or lack thereof. why has congress become so polarized? why isn't there as much compromise, this question asked and what do you see as the biggest roadblock within congress for the legislation getting done? we will start with you, mr. upton. yes? >> well, thanks. when i was elected back in '87, we had a member of our leadership team. i think she was the secretary of the republican conference.
she addressed the new freshmen and said folks. two things happen. if you have a good bill it's going to either be defeated or it's going to get stolen. that's just the way things go. so for me, i decided on virtually every piece of legislation i would seek out a democratic sponsor and we would try to work to get things done. so one of my very first bills, to give you a question in the second, one of my very first bills this was a colleague freshman of mine in baltimore and it doesn't need to be provided a tax credit for the businesses it had to make structural changes to the disabilities act. we have the caucus and we have all of the republicans -- he grabbed me and said we are going to move your bill coming and he
did you get the and he came back and said you've ruined my reputation. this is hailed as the important piece of legislation enacting small business and the chamber is given kudos. i was a zero and now when the time. what can be done for the reputation? but we have to work together to the i'm a relatively new chairman. i changed one of the rules in the markup to take up the bipartisan amendment and go ahead. and i told my republicans on the right and democrats on the congressional let's see if we can get some things done. this afternoon we are going to take up a major piece of legislation and impacting the pharmaceutical the industry. john dingell was one of my best supporters. getting that in the market and we intend to have it passed by a voice vote. but, you look at what we have tried to do and i have always been a policy over politics.
the last congress we passed eagles on the house floor that came out of my committee our committee. all but four or five of them have democratic support. and 40 of them the president signed into law. that is not a bad record that may be a lot of folks like to year on some of these talk shows that are out there. but we have to work together. there are a lot of great members. i was there this morning on this mental health conference. there are a lot of great members who care passionately about where the country is headed and how we have to work together. we have divided government. we have to recognize that. but let's work together. we try to do that. and i know that dave on the ways and means committee and my other colleagues have that same kind of attitude. but the margin is small. we have to wonder 33 republicans in the house. 218 control the house so we have a margin of 15 so we have to work together. we have to govern together is what this is all about.
tom mann and norm orie stevan described the contours of the subject and you can find i think many different reasons you can allocate to the middle. when howard baker was there there are usually about 30 senators representing both sides of the aisle that you could count on to try to work something out and they could often influence the final. the number dwindled and you have the redistricting in the house. it's partly a cultural issue and the general has taken place. i had the privilege of coming to when the world war ii generation was running things. people come of age during the war we had seven presidents in a row from kennedy through bush senior who was a world war ii president. all seven were in military
uniform. they came back to washington believing that they were thus of a generation that they were strong democrats or republicans but at the forefront the or strong americans and they worked together and that has been lost since that generation has left the stage. i don't think it is hopeless. what i do think is we need to be electing people like fred and the spirit he represents and that we have a generation that is no. still and that's coming that is very different and in many ways the millennials was coming true. contrary to what "time" magazine put on a couple of weeks ago about this being a me generation i find this generation that is coming is very idealistic and very hopeful changing the country. they are flowing into the nonprofits. teach for america happened to be on the board to be i can tell you what they've done in that organization is extraordinarily tapping into the idealism and the one group we should be very
hopeful about and it's the silver lining are the young people coming back and taking off the uniforms after serving in iraq and afghanistan. some of those people there are no question that they are mental health issues and some of the veterans coming back. it's going to take a while but we will get there. [applause] >> there are a lot of scandals going on. at the current white house we hear the national press club. i would like to hear the take from both of you on the secret conducted into the first associated press and fox news. is this the entrenchment of the freedom of the press. the cable shares and committees that are beginning the investigation of this the we've
got councils to the i am not an attorney but we have an oversight investigation subcommittee. we've got the lawyers and the key devotee to ask for the subpoena information. we need to find out what the truth is and find out where it takes us today i am quite confident that you will see that happen on the irs and deal with dave camp as the chairman of the ways and means and the darrell issa. we will get the answers. as my dad always said, gerald ford certainly believed tell the truth the first time and you don't have to worry about the second. [laughter] >> there is no question in my mind that we crossed the line when the fbi filed the affidavit and called a potential co-conspirator in a criminal co-conspirator as a reporter simply ask him questions. you can't put the press in that situation. we have to -- that's why it is
so important to make sure that we are on the right side of this line, not on the wrong side of the line. and on the ap it is hard to assess unless you are there but it seems excessive. the government has become very fat powerful. what we need to do is ask the leaders of restraint. restraint in the use of power. restraint when we send the forces abroad and when we plunge into the war and we are restrained on how we treat each other. it seems to me what unites the irs and press issues or the lack of restraint. there's got to be some -- people inside of the government have to sort of treat them with a sort of dignity and understanding that this is a complex society and we have to be respectful of certain standards. it's not just the wall but it's a question of what the standards are. [applause]
>> mr. gergen from serving in so many administrations looking at these things from the inside, how would you assess the effectiveness of the president's communications in these scandals? >> i think the president has the capacity to be one of the finest communicators we've had in the white house. the speech in philadelphia he gave during the 2008 campaign and if he were alive today and continued to compile his lend me your year infil benge it would be a star in treen that and i think this president has often inspired the way that he is at rest people especially the young and we should respect that and they should be given credit for that. on the question of what has been apparent.
they've been more effective in the communications and for the reasons that have been mysterious to me, they have been of little on whether it is benghazi. you learn damage control and i've been through a lot of damage control in the government. many years. i started with watergate and wound up with whitewater. [laughter] one of the first things you learn on damage control is that it's important to get your story out fast. but first it's important to get the story straight and understand what it is you're dealing with. it's not always easy because things get why your that so quickly in the government. when i first got in the government, lawyers or not omnipresent when you dealt with
these questions and they didn't tell you you can't really use that. but now they are so heavily lawyer the political side of the house has to push back and say wait a minute we have a responsibility to get this stuff out. >> one question, the question if the congress is to express profound this interest on the impact of the sequestration on the national defence the questioner says why is that and how do you get the perception of the problem solved? >> a couple things could a guy got my strikes working for ronald reagan who cared so much about the deficit as we all do. and a lot of battles, they work for david stockton and this is one of the primary reasons i ran for office but did you might remember back in the early nineties we had this thing and you're a the etds, i guess it was made etds.
across-the-board cuts if congress didn't do its work to get i was in the first meeting with the gramm and rudman and others and how this thing was devised pick in the house i was a member of the super committee -- term at off i don't know where it is what i can hear it all the way over here. [laughter] i know it's not my life because i've already turned mine off. i was on the super committee. and it broke my heart that we didn't get it done. it really did. we had a group of 12 people you might remember divided between. we have an equal number versus a majority that really wanted to come out with a solution. some democrats, some republicans on both and they said we will do the sequestration and that will force the congress to actually come up with something to get it done. and at the end of the day it
didn't work. in the house last year we passed two different bills. with real offsets to the sequester. we didn't get anything out of the senate. we passed in may of last year and then again want to say it was in september or october i remember sitting with leon panetta. as the committee chairs in the administration leon panetta i served with him as he was in the house before he became secretary defense. he doesn't want to let the sequester go through. i said yes it is. we passed the bill to offset that and the senate hasn't done anything. it's common. at the end of the day this is certainly not the best way to do it. we wanted to make the individual departments come up with their own choices, set their
priorities for how to deal with these different things. we did it with the air traffic controllers and they took money from the airport improvement fund to offset those layoffs that otherwise would have come. but we have to get serious about the deficit. the fiscal cliff issue was resolved and that kick in automatically as well. the revenues are up. the sequester was going to kick in automatically unless we came up with an offset and they failed to take action so it isn't going to change for the balance of this year. i am hopeful that we can sit down as republicans and democrats and figure out the fiscal path we have to be on including entitlements when gerald ford was president. 10% of the budget, today is one third. you can't deal with these deficits unless you look at the whole picture. we can do that this fall when we get up to the plight facing yet another debt ceiling extension that comes up probably in
october. >> we are almost out of time but before wrapping up we have a couple housekeeping matters to take care of. i would like to remind you about the upcoming speakers. dmarko on june 4th we will host bastion. wednesday the secretary tom vilsack and on july 1st, the former ceo of hewlett-packard who currently serves as the chairman of good 360. second i would like to present the guests with our traditional national press club coffee mug. [applause] who died earlier today at the age of 89. the senate is about to gaveling to start their day and their week. general speeches the first order of business for about two hours or so. at roughly 4 o'clock eastern time, lawmakers will return to
the bill. two amendments to the bill are expected to be voted on around 5:30 this afternoon. watching live coverage from the senate floor here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. o god, thank you for being near to us in good and bad times.
we celebrate your wonderful blessings that bring us new victories each day. as we look at the flowers on the desk of our friend and brother, senator frank lautenberg, we thank you for his life and legacy. as we mourn his death, send your comfort into our hearts. bless bonnie and his family and give them your peace. let our memory of this good and courageous american inspire us to transcend the barriers that
divide us and to work for the good of america. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c, june 3, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable tim kaine, a senator from the commonwealth of virginia, to perform the duties of the
chair. signed, patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask the senate now observe a moment of silence in honor of frank r. lautenberg, late senator from the state of new jersey. the presiding officer: the senate will now observe a moment of silence. if all could please stand. [moment of silence] [moment of silence] mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
majority leader. mr. reid: i have a few matters i must take care of. we'll be in a period of morning business until 4:00 p.m. today. following that morning business, the senate will resume consideration of the farm bill. at 5:30, there will be two roll call votes on amendments to that bill. there are two bills at the desk due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the titles of the bills for a second time. the clerk: h.r. 3, an act to approve the construction, operation and may not nens of the keystone -- maintenance of the keystone x.l. pipeline and for other pups. h.r. 271, an act that compliance with emergency order under section 202-c of the federal power act and so forth and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i object to both -- further proceedings with regard to both of these matters. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the measures will now be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: mr. president, when i learned early this morning that frank lautenberg had died, of
course i became immediately very, very sad. i've served with him for 2 1/2 decades or more here in the senate, and to see now the flowers on his desk. it seems the flowers have barely wilted on the desk that was right behind me, senator inouye. so i, mr. president, have a heavy heart. the shr senatothe senior senatow jersey and my friend, frank lautenberg, died this morning, as we all know. my thoughts are with his lovely wife bonnie, his children and 13 grandchildren. few people in the history of this institution contributed as much to our nation and to the united states senate as frank lautenberg. his success story is really what the american dream is all about. he came from a family of working
class immigrants from eastern europe, russia and poland. his parents struggled. i've heard frank talk about how they struggled. they worked so hard. they moved around new jersey often. when frank was 18 during the middle of world war ii, he enlisted in the united states army. during world war ii, he served in the signal corps, and i can remember frank talking about his experiences in the european theatre. once he's -- as i said, he was on the army signal corps. he's up on a power line, a wooden power pole. and he can see the war going on within his sight. during world war ii, he talked about the many experiences he had. as he said, making him a better american.
he was very proud of his military service. he is the last world war ii veteran having served in the senate. we don't have any world war ii veterans anymore, mr. president. his death is a great loss for this institution in many, many different ways. when frank came home from the war, he was obviously very smart and was permitted to attend the very prestigious columbia university. he did it, of course, on the g.i. bill, like millions of other returning americans did. but he quickly found his own business, his own company. he did it with two boyhood friends, all three of them from new jersey, three kids from new jersey. under his leadership, this firm, automatic data processing, known as a.d.p., grew into the largest computing service company of its
kind in the world. he was so very, very proud of that company and he never hesitated to tell everyone that he made money, he became rich. he was a poor boy who became wealthy as a result of people being able to fulfill their dreams as people can do in america. frank was -- wasn't content with his personal success alone. he was proud of a lot of his civic and charitable things he did. but nothing made him more proud of what he did outside government than when he served as the head of the united jewish appeal, known as the jewish federations of north america. he was very proud of that. mr. president, frank lautenberg was known for many, many things. before he came to the senate. but he ran an impossible race for the senate and was elected. in 1982, he came to the congress
the same year that i did, and in the three decades since he's worked tirelessly on behalf of his state and the country. he retired once. he couldn't stand retirement. he hated retirement. he couldn't stay away from public service and he returned to the senate again in 2002. he had a remarkable career. i've just touched upon a few of the things. his determination that made him successful in the private sector also served him well in the united states senate. mr. president, motivated by his own experience, senator lautenberg, a world war ii veteran, cowrote the 21st century g.i. bill of rights, recognizing, he did, how much this meant to him and he wanted to help ensure that vets returning from iraq and afghanistan enjoyed the same opportunities for education that helped him become so successful. and, mr. president, my youngest
boy just hated cigarette smoke and it really made him ill. and airplanes -- remember we went through a procedure there where you could smoke every place in an airplane and finally only part of the apri airplane t didn't matter, everyone sucked in that secondhand smoke. frank lautenberg took care of my boy and millions of other people that would no longer have to suck in that smoke when they're in an airplane. is he the one more than anyone else that we have to thank for protecting us from deadly secondhand smoke in an airplane. because his legislation banned smoking on airplanes. he also was a longtime member of the environment and public works committee. had he not retired for that very short period of time that he did, he would have been chairman of that committee.
because he wasn't there, i got the opportunity to be chair of that committee. i -- actually on two separate occasions. so he focused on this nation's infrastructure -- roads and highways. and one of the things he thought that would make this country a much safer place is to pass a drinking limit, that is, you couldn't drink alcohol anyplace in the country until you're 21 years of age. and that's what he did. a national drunk driving standard is what it was called. he believed in helping the state of new jersey. that was his first priority. and his second priority was helping the country. and i'm not sure which order they came. it was hard to understand the difference between frank lautenberg because he was focused on the country and new jersey at the same time. frank wanted to make sure women and children were protected from gun violence, and because of h him, we passed legislation here
that convicted domestic abusers couldn't own firearms. so just a few examples of his work here in the senate that literally saved lives. and, mr. president, he came out of his sickbed in a wheelchair to volt on gun legislation. he agreed with 90% of the american people that people who had severe mental problems or were felons shouldn't be able to buy a gun. he agreed with 90% of the american people, and he came from his bed to come here and vote with us. he was so happy to be here. he came once after that just a few days ago to vote when we needed him again. he tried so hard. talking to bonnie today, she said he was confident he'd live to be a hundred. he was a very strong man
physically. april a couple years ago i took a big delegation to china, bipartisan group. it was a wonderful trip. frank lautenberg, that was his last foreign travel. and i can remember indicating what a strong man he was physically. we were -- i hadn't been to the great wall of china. i don't know how many of the other ten senators had been but i hadn't been. and it's pretty steep and big rocks there that's been there for all those centuries and centuries. and there would be -- because frank was 88 years old at the time, somebody grabbed his arm to help him go up. he pushed them away. he wanted no help from anybody. he was on his own. that's the way he wanted it to be. i, our nation owes a great debt of gratitude for frank for his outstanding service. he has always been so kind to me.
he was -- he was one that really appreciated his service. he appreciated being here. he loved being in the senate. and the nation's going to miss his strength and his progressive leadership. mr. president, the other thing that probably a lot of people don't know about frank lautenberg, his sense of humor. i had him tell the story because no one could tell the story like him, but another reason i kind of liked -- i like frank is he laughed at his own jokes. he thought they were funny, as most everyone listening to them did. one of the -- one of our favorites was about two wrestlers. he had -- there was a pretzel move that he would -- it would take him about five minutes or more to tell the story but it was hilarious. no one could tell it like frank. so he had a sense of humor and we certainly appreciated that. even though the united states senate, mr. president, at
midnight last night had al franken and we still have al franken but there was room for two funny people prior to frank's death this morning. frank and -- and al -- frank lautenberg, al franken, always made us smile and often made us laugh. now i guess it's going to be up to senator franken to do this alone, because they were both really, really funny together and apart. so it's with deep sadness that the senate family is going to say goodbye. we're going to do that wednesday morning. say goodbye to an exemplary public servant, a faithful friend: senator frank lautenberg. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. alexander: mr. president in. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: the quorum call will be vitiated. under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. and under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business until 4:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. mr. alexander: thank you, mr. president. if you'll will the me know when ten minutes occurs, i would appreciate it. the presiding officer: the chair will so notify. mr. alexander: and if there are no other senators on the floor, i will continue. i am here, mr. president, today to speak on clean energy independence. before i do that i want to note the passing of senator frank lautenberg. when i came to the senate ten years ago there were a number of members here who were veterans of world war i. now there are -- of world war ii. now there are none. nosenator lautenberg was the la. a member of the generation often described as "the greatest." he is the son of immigrants, made a lot of money in business
as an entrepreneur and american dream. he did another entrepreneurial thing -- he ran for the united states senate and served twice here. he was an avid -- an advocate for the things he believed in. he was a productive senator. he just in the last couple of weeks had helped to fashion an agreement on toxic waste chemicals, of which i am a cosponsor. it's been a long time coming, and he had a major role in that. so we'll miss him. to his wife bonnie and to his family, they have my respect and condolences and admiration for his long service to our country. mr. president, five years ago i spoke at the oak ridge national laboratory. i began with a story from our past about our future. it's a familiar story to those of us in tennessee. president roosevelt called the chairman of the senate foreign
reels committee no his and said, mr. chairman, i would like to ask you to hide a couple of million dollars in the budget for a creat secret project to we war. the chairman said, that should be no problem. i have one question. where in tennessee will it be? and that became oak ridge that t became oak ridge. that was the site where we built a bomb before the germans did. i suggested five years ago that we have a new manhattan project, real i had many manhattan projects for clean energy independence. last week i -- in oak ridge five years after that first speech, i suggested four grand principles to help us chart a competitive energy future for the next five years to end our obsession with taxpayer subsidies and strategies for expensive energy and instead focus on doubling
government-sponsored research and allowing marketplace solutions to create an abundance of cheap, clean, reliable energy. i'd like to renew those comments today on the floor of the united states senate. the four grand principles i mentioned were cheaper, not more expensive energy. two, clean, not just renewable energy. three, research and development, not government mandates. and four, free market, not the government picking winners and losers. the seven grand challenges i suggested four -- five years ago were grounded in challenges from the united states national academy of engineering. the challenges included plug-in electric vehicles, finding ways to capture and use carbon from coal plants, helping solar become cost competitive, safely managing nuclear waste, encouraging the cellulosic
biofuels, making new buildings green buildings, creating energy fusion. my goal in laying out those seven challenges was clean energy independence. at the time, some took issue with the idea of a grand goal underlying these challenges, but i thought independence was a good goal then, and it's a good goal now because the united states should not be held hostage by any other country because of our energy needs. since i spoke five years ago, the department of energy has established the energy innovation hubs that are producing fuels from sunlight and advancing nuclear reactor and battery technologies. that paired with the work of the new energy research agency which we call arpa-e and others has moved us forward on the seven grand challenges in a number of ways. let me summarize that briefly. electric vehicles are approaching 100,000 in the united states, and arpa-e has
helped a company that has doubled the energy density of lithium eye on batteries. carbon capture, we're developing commercial uses for carbon dioxide like liquid fuels produced from microbes, solar power. the goal is around $1 per watt installed by 2020, and the cost has fallen from $8 to $4. still has a long way to go but it's promising. nuclear waste, four of us in the senate have drafted comprehensive nuclear waste legislation for the first -- legislation. for the first time in 30 years, we're building new larger reactors and we're moving forward on small modular nuclear reactors. advanced biofuels, there are three new bioenergy research centers. green buildings. research and development has meant 20 new commercial projects in energy efficiency. fusion, we have already demonstrated human-engineered
fusion on a small scale and now we're trying to scale it up for commercial energy production. the u.s. has made gains but we still have challenges. even as other parts of the world grow rapidly, the energy information administration estimates that our country will continue to use about 20% of all the world's energy for about 5% of the world's people. second, we have record oil and gas production at home, but we need to be as independent as possible from those who might want to use our demand for oil to hold us hostage. former secretary condoleezza rice once said she had -- quote -- "never seen anything warp diplomacy like high oil prices." unquote. and affording a tank of gasoline remains a struggle for many families. another challenge is failing to keep up with energy research and development, which is one of the major points i want to make today. failing to keep up with energy r&d.
that energy research has given us abundant, reliable, cheap energy, from unconventional gas to nuclear power. the amount we spend on energy research and development, nearly $5 billion a year at the department in nondefense, noncleanup money, nearly $9 billion if you count other agencies and their energy-related research such as the national research -- as the national science foundation, the department of interior, the national institute of standards and technology. still, those dollars are lower as a percentage of our gross product than major competitors like france or japan or korea or china. and another challenge is that while the united states has made more gains in reducing the use of carbon than any other industrial country, the national academies of the united states and 12 other countries have warned that human activity has contributed significantly to climate change and global
warming. so thinking about the progress we've made from five years ago and taking into account the challenges we still have, let me suggest four grand principles that could guide our energy future. first, cheaper, not more expensive, energy. five years ago, mr. president, all the talk was about a cap and trade program for the united states and deliberately raising the price of energy as a way of achieving clean energy independence. last year, i was in germany, a country that adopted exactly that policy. in addition, germany is closing its nuclear power plants and becoming more dependent on natural gas but buying both forms of energy from other countries rather than producing it on its own. the germans are subsidizing wind and solar but are building new coal plants in order to have enough reliable electricity. what i found in germany, in short, was an energy policy mess
that discourages job growth. the end result is that germany has the second highest household electricity prices in the european union. when i asked an economic minister what he would say to a manufacturer about energy costs in germany, he said i would suggest he go somewhere else. well, that somewhere else is turning out to be the united states, virginia, tennessee, other states. we pursued a different track. the most conspicuous example of which is finding unconventional gas and oil. this has created for our country a remarkable phenomenon, a large amount of cheap clean energy with our own domestic price for natural gas. now, this has been the result of a peculiar combination of factors that in my opinion amount to a better energy policy than most people give us credit for. the first element is the entrepreneurial spirit of america and the large amount of private property ownership and our huge private market.
another is access to capital. and a third and indispensable element is government-sponsored research. take our nation's natural gas boom as an example. in the past, it was uneconomical to develop so-called unconventional gas. government-sponsored research enabled it and demonstrated how it could be done and a temporary federal tax credit that expired for new shell products that expired at the end of 1992 encouraged new sources of private capital. now, natural gas will be a big part of where we get our clean energy which leads me to my second principle, clean not just renewable energy. too often, we define our energy goals in terms of renewable energy when we should mean clean energy. there are a number of states that have a renewable energy mandate defined to include only wind and solar power. the u.s. congress is regularly
asked to pass a narrowly defined renewable energy mandate for the same purpose. it is true these energy sources have meant no air pollution and these mandates say that a certain amount of electricity generated within a state must come from these specific sources, but focusing on this narrow definition for clean energy misses the point and at a high cost to our electric bills. such narrow definitions also discount hydropower and nuclear power, our country's cheapest and most available sources of air pollution-free electricity. in the tennessee valley authority region where i live, for example, more than 95% of our pollution-free electricity comes from t.v.a.'s dams and three nuclear plants which include six reactors. second, mandating renewable energy runs the risk of creating too much reliance on sources that generate power only
intermittently. there is certainly a place for these renewable technologies and solar power especially seems to me to have great promise, but renewable energy consumes great amounts of space, whether it's solar or wind or biomass. for example, it would take a row of giant wind turbines all the way from georgia to maine on the appalachian trail to generate the same amount of electricity that we would get from four nuclear power plants, and you would still need the nuclear plants because the wind only blows when it wants to. fortunately, we have plenty of rooftops on which to put solar panels, and when they become cheap enough and aestheticcally pleasing enough, they will probably become an increasingly important supplement to our country's huge appetite for electricity, especially because the sun shines during the peak use hours. and battery technology will help make all forms of renewable
energy more useful, which brings me to my next principle. research and development, not government mandates. it's hard to think of an important technological advance in our country that has not involved at least some government-sponsored research, especially in the area of energy. the most recent example is the development of unconventional gas that was enabled by 3-d mapping invented at sandia national laboratory in new mexico and the department of energy's large-scale demonstration project. there is an argument that by imposing government mandates just as by imposing higher prices, government could force some innovation that could move us toward clean energy independence, but i believe the surer path would be to double the $5 billion we spend annually on nondefense, noncleanup energy
research and development at the department of energy, or the $4 billion more we spend at other government agencies and trust the marketplace to produce better results. in 2005, the rising above the gathering storm report written by a commission led by former lockheed martin c.e.o. norm augustine recommended doubling energy research and development. in 2007, congress responded passing the america competes act with overwhelming bipartisan support. senator coons and i are working together to reintroduce the america competes act for a third reauthorization. or a second reauthorization after its original passage. one small agency that's the result of the america competes act is what we call arpa-e, and it's already showing signs of the wisdom of this approach. arpa-e has helped improve battery technology and worked to produce liquid fuel from
microbes, among other accomplishments. seeing how our free enterprise would capitalize on this brings me to my fourth and last principle. free market, not government picking winners and losers. we're more likely to have abundant supplies of cheap, clean, reliable energy in the united states if we trust the marketplace. the most appropriate role for government is in research. i believe a second role is limited jump-starting of new technologies. for example, unconventional gas about which i just spoke involved government research and a limited tax credit. the full tax credit for electric cars is limited. it's capped at $200,000 -- 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer. to encourage innovation in nuclear energy, the government provided research and licensing support for small modular reactors, but that's limited to five years. even for nuclear power plants,
there is a production tax credit, but it's limited to 6,000 megawatts. on the other hand, president reagan used to say that the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth is a government program, and that's too often the case with energy subsidies. the most glaring example of that is the more than 20-year-old subsidy for wind power, a technology that energy secretary chu, the former secretary, technology that he said had matured. wind was supposed to help -- this money, this jump-start was supposed to help jump-start wind, but we've already lost $16 billion in federal revenue from 2009 through the end of 2012 alone, and congress just added a one-year extension of the wind production tax credit, costing $12 billion. remember, the department of
energy just spends $5 billion on energy research. and we're spending $12 billion in a one-year extension of the wind tax credit. the wind industry's idea of a phaseout would cost tens of billions more. people talk about big oil, but the big unnecessary subsidy is big wind, and a much better place to spend our money would be energy research. mr. president, i've been fascinated with the progress we've made on the seven grand challenges that i suggested five years ago. perhaps by focusing on these four grand principles the ones i've suggested in this speech, we can capitalize on the last five years of progress and move toward cheap, clean, reliable energy. oak ridge's evolution since the manhattan project days provides a good model. about 70 years ago the astonishing collection of physicists that produced the two
atomic bombs also enabled nuclear power, nuclear medicine, and other technological advances. what can we expect five years from now? to get a glimpse of the future we might look at things that fight within the dividing principles that i've suggested today. for example, small modular reactors and virtual reactors that scientists at oak ridge are developing will revolutionize the safety and effectiveness of our nuclear technology. game-changing manufacturing is also on the horizon with 3-d printing and arpa-e, the small agency in the department of energy that came from america competes, and other groups are increasing the reliability of our electricity supply. mr. president, this united states of america is a remarkable place. and with the potential that i've described and the principles i've suggested, a competitive energy future is well within our grasp. i thank the president.
mr. moran: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection, the quorum call is vitiated. mr. moran: thank you for the recognition. i just returned from my home state, your home state, kansas, to return to the work that we're about here in the united states senate. this week away from washington, d.c. gave me the opportunity to travel really all corners of our state. i was from southeast kansas in galena to goodland, and almost every night while i was home weather was topic of conversation, and certainly as kansans who have experienced tornadoes in our own state over the last week, and certainly over the life of our state, we extend our deepest sympathies and concerns to the people of oklahoma. it is weather that i wanted to talk about here on the senate floor today in preparation for an amendment that i will offer, is being offered to the farm
bill, and a continued discussion of that farm bill throughout this week. as i listen to kansas farmers, the most prevalent request when it comes to farm policy to a request for what ought to be in a farm bill is the request by kansans that crop insurance remain a solid and viable program. and we live in a state in which weather is not always our friend to agriculture yet agriculture is our most significant creator of economic activity, generator of jobs and economic growth in our state and we have the pleasure of -- in fact, we're very proud to feed, clothe, and provide energy to much of the world. at the moment, the challenges are great because of the significant effects that drought has had on kansas and much of the midwest. that drought has been ongoing for more than two years, and it
has had a significant impact upon agriculture production and it's that point i want to make as we debate a farm bill the importance of crop insurance in response to those difficult times. despite the drought, our nation remains the land of plenty, and americans continue to enjoy the safest and most abundant food supply in the world. the reason we have so much is because of many factors. prayers, the work ethic of american farmers and ranchers, the courage to persevere in spite of enormous challenges, and among those things, finally is the ability to manage risk. farming and ranching is high-risk production. producers can't manage the one thing that matters most to them, mother nature. mother nature is the one investigatorrable that can't be controlled. senator nature brings drought and wind and hail, the things a producer must face head on each
year, each year to follow. with the inability to control the weather, we must control the things that we can. the great risks associated with agriculture. this is required of the united states if the united states is to remain that land of plenty. the risk management tool of choice is crop insurance. it gives producers a safety net so when there is a drought, a flood, a hail storm, a wind storm, they can pick turn pieces and try again. this is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. we have the ability to manage our risks so when mother nature gives us something bad our nation's farmers and ranchers can live to start again. the government helps the producers cover some of the costs of the policy and the producer covers the rest. to be clear, producers pay a significant part of the premium out of their own pockets. in 2012, they paid $4.1 billion to buy insurance to manage their
risks. when you take out a crop insurance policy, you get a bill, an check. -- not a check. crop insurance has virtually replaced the need for ad hoc disaster measures for crops. during my time in the house of representatives and now in the senate, going back to 1989, 42 such pieces of legislation have cost the taxpayer more than $70 billion. during my time in the house and now the senate, many times we've asked for ad hoc disaster assistance, a bill to pass the legislature to provide assistance at the moment. and crop insurance is the tool by which we can avoid those requests. when you manage risks with crop insurance you save the taxpayer money and give the producers a better program. today as we have scheduled votes i have an amendment on the floor keeling with a crop called alfalfa. alfalfa is the nation' fourth most valuable crop and plays a significant role in our daily
lives. alfalfa is a building block for milk and meat. the hay that is grown in the fields of california, idaho, south dakota, colorado, oregon, washington, texas, wisconsin and kansas and the rest of the 50 states is a driver of the cost of product on a grocery store shelves. the nation's fourth most valuable crop is vitally important. the reality is producers are faced with risks and there is no good way to manage them when it comes to this crop, alfalfa. the current crop insurance program forge production a.p.h. is severely inadequate as demonstrated by the fact that less than 10% of the acres are enrolled in the program compared to scorn, soybeans and comeet wheet which are much more around 80%. producers are going back to the bank to borrow operating money and being told not to plant alfalfa because there is no good way to manage the risk. this is very troubling because of the impact that afl-cio hawaiia has on the economy and
our nation's food supply. the crop is important and we need to figure out a way to manage its risks. producers are told to grow a crop with a safety net, some guaranteed when weather is bad. my amendment number 987 requires the federal crop insurance corporation to conduct research and development regarding a policy to ensure alfalfa and a report. there is no additional cost to the taxpayer with my amendment. we need to take a good, hard look at alfalfa and recognize its value to the nation. we need to develop something that will work, save the taxpayer money and make certain the land of plenty remains the land of plenty. alfalfa is a building block of milk and meat, the risk management tool for alfalfa producers will enjoy lower input costs and consumers will enjoy less expensive products on the grocery store shelves. mr. president, i know you appreciate the value of
agriculture, and particularly to highlight the amendment that we will vote on later today. and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from sceas alaska. mr. begich: i rise today to discuss the devastating spring flooding in alaska. and as you just heard from kansas, weather patterns are affecting long-term droughts in the farmland, in alaska it is warm weather going the opposite direction. over the last several weeks our country has witnessed devastating tornadoes in oklahoma, our families go out to moore and other cities in oklahoma. disasters like these remind us of the importance of family and community. and it should make us again examine the work done by fema and other agencies to help communities prepare for natural disasters.
while it didn't make natural news, alaska's families along the yukon river are putting their lives back together after a record flooding last week. thick river ice, high temperatures and fast melting combined to flood the community of galena during what we call breakup in alaska. for those who have never witnessed it, breakup on the biggest and mightiest river is spectacular, almost beyond description. as the ice begins to move and buckle and crack, you can sometimes hear it from miles away. the trouble is the wrong conditions, the moving ice can get caught where the rivers make their bends, it piles up into mountains of jumbled ice creating a natural dam that floods everything behind it. or when it suddenly breaks loose, torrents of raging water and ice rush downstream. this year breakup has, unfortunately, caused stream conditions in interior alaska. last week quickly rising waters
from a 30-mile ice jam along the yukon had the village of galena under water for three days. this is an example of what you can see. the woods, the trees are there but all along there, is water burying the buildings there. galena is a village of fewer than 500 people in interior alaska. at least 300 residents had to be evacuated to keep them from danger. other moves to higher ground. we're grateful to be able to say that no deaths or serious injuries have been reported. a real miracle when you look at the photos of the damage. as i said, this photo of galena shows your extent of the damage. as mentioned, this was a severe flood, came on very fast, had to try to deal with this very quickly because the power of the yukon when it's moving is fast and furious. these ice jams hoff fast once they break, the worst flooding they've seen in 70 years. when in very remote communities
like galena don't have communication, river monitoring technology, transportation infrastructure to react quickly. and i have to say let me keep in -- remind people that you cannot drive out of this community. you have to fly out of this community. when the river is breaking it is everybody's hands on deck. we're thankful for the response of the chiefs conference, safely create evacuating many residents. the safl vaition army and red cross provided invaluable help. this community came together to evacuate the elders and the most in need first. alaskans are the type of people who are willing to lend a hand to their neighbor. mr. president, this flood hit the community hard. nearly every structure in galena and the surrounding 25-mile wide valley basin was under water and you get a more closeup view here of exactly how that water moves in and floods out the whole
area. and as the ice jam on the yukon causing flooding isn't gone yet, villages downriver like st. mary's and holy cross remain on alert and are bracing for possible evacuation, again reminding folks you cannot drive out, you have to fly out or take the river. the people who live along the yukon river respect it as a resource but knowing living on the banks can twri bring dangerous conditions which we must prepier for. though the waters in galena are subsiding the real work just begins. this community must rebuild stronger, must do within the short summer construction season an added complications for alaska, again our spring is here, the summer will be here and in three and a half months winter will be back. as chairman of the homeland security subcommittee on emergency management, i take this flooding event very seriously. i've been in touch with local
leaders, state disaster response agencies and fema. i will remain engaged throughout the cleanup and rebuilding process. i'm working with the state on this emergency and we'll make sure that we have all the resources possible as galena repairs and rebuilds. the emergency response priorities right now are restoring essential services and getting people back in their homes. i'm pleased that the alaska governor declared a state disaster for galena last week and i urge the president to act quickly to declare a federal disaster to free up vital federal resources to help our state and its people recover. responding to natural disasters in alaska is very different than the lower 48. we have very unique challenges. it's important to have perspective on the size and scope of alaska. alaska's land is 2 1/2 times the size of the state of texas. our road system is smaller than that in rhode island.
and 82% of alaska communities are only accessible by air. just flying from galena to fairbanks or back and forth is equivalent to flying from washington, d.c. to new york. actually, it's a little bit longer. it's an amazing distance when you have to go from place to place. and as i reminded foabltionmindu see the great yukon, in order to bring supplies and necessities, it's an hour-long flight from the fairbanks region. this makes traditional lower 48 disaster response unrealistic for alaska. in most communities, we don't have the road system to fru trun critical supplies. we frequently rely on skilled bush pilots and boat captains to bring relief to communities in need. our pilots are often forced to land on gravel runways or river sandbars. and our barge captains must navigate dangerous waters to access rural villages. these experiences most residents of the lower 48 couldn't even
begin to imagine. and this disaster in galena is a start reminder why we must continue to invest in the aviation and maritime lifelines that alaskans rely on for survival. another issue unique to my state is the absence of broadband access in rural areas. now, when i say that, most people say, "what's the big deal, everyone is hooked up?" not in alaska. something most people would consider critical infrastructure in responding to disasters. increased broadband deployment throughout rural alaska would help affected communities like galena by providing much needed information, telehealth information to help the residents, updated information on changing weather conditions, better communication between responders and the disaster response center. information on incident response teams and cleanup on strategies. and i have to tell you, my personal example when i called the individual who's in charge of the situation on the ground, we were waiting for another radio call in. let me repeat that, a radio
call-in to get an update from someone who was on the site because the technology doesn't exist at the level that's necessity to monitor a disaster of this magnitude. this disaster is a reminder of the inequities that still exist in serving rural america. i will continue to work with ways to -- with my senate colleagues to act and provide rural communities with better broadband access, not only for emergency, disasters as we're having here but also for basic communication. all these factors mean alaskans must work and respond differently when disasters occur in our state. as our state emergency response chief often tells me, you can't do big-city response in most alaska. fema rules don't always work for rural alaska. one key question is making sure fema programs for individual assistance are fully employed and complement state assistance. i'm hopeful between the federal, state, local governments, tribal governments we can get some
much-needed assistance to the residents of galena living through this nightmare. i know how strong the people of galena are. we know they will continue to stick together through this trying time. we couldn't do it without the ongoing support of the national guard and the alaska department of homeland security and emergency management office. we'll continue to work with them as we help the residents of galena to get back on their feet. i'm looking forward, as chairman of the emergency management subcommittee, i'll be holding listening sessions in alaska to discuss the preparedness and mitigation solutions to natural disasters. because it's not just the interior that faces serious threats for natural disasters, we must also consider north slop communities who are often confronting changes from the warming arctic. it's important for us to tackle these issues head-on, to create public-private partnerships, strong communication lines and disaster response plans so our communities are protected and our residents are safe.
mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader. mr. durbin: i ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i just flew in from chicago early this morning. i was given the news that i had lost a great friend and one of my dearest colleagues, senator frank lautenberg of new jersey. most of us you is fran us saw fw weeks ago. he had to come down. it was one of those moments when his vote was crucial. we knew that he was struggling,
but we also knew that he'd be here. he said he would, and he was. he sat over here in a wheelchair with that trademark frank lautenberg smile. i don't think i've ever run into a person in my life as happy as frank lautenberg. he was a great joke teller, and the best thing about frank's joke, even if he was telling it for the 254th time, he would start laughing before the end of the joke, and pretty soon the whole room was laughing. you always wanted to be out for dinner with frank and bonnie because you just knew it was going it be a good time. you'd hear a lot of jokes he had you had -- you'd hear a lot of jokes you'd heard before, but you'd encourage him to tell them. he was a member of the greatest generation, having served in world war ii and having served here in the united states senate. he retired once and came back, served here until the age of 89.
he astonished us all when he came here on the floor of the senate -- he was wheeled in in a while chair to vote on some important amendments related to gun safety and gun control. frank, if he were alive, would not have missed those votes. it meant so much to him. it was an issue that he led on, he was respected for, when it came to closing the loopholes where convicted felons and people who had no business owning guns were buying them anyway, frank lautenberg led the effort to stop the proliferation of guns and the distribution of them to people who would misuse them. it was a cause that he felt passionately about and one he cast many tough votes on, as he served in the u.s. senate. his return that day for those votes was an act of courage and a long life that was filled with courage, starting with his service in the united states army in world war i want worldd
continuing throughout his life. physical courage, political courage, and moral courage. when frank lautenberg spoke to some law students at rutge rut s university, he thought about studying law himself but decided he was 25 years after world war 2 ii and too old to start law school. he told the law students it was too late. "i missed my opportunity." frank lautenberg may not have earned a law degree but make no mistake, frank lautenberg of new jersey left an important mark on the laws of america. here's how i first came to know him. i was a congressman in 1986 -- i had been here four years. i was from springfield, illinois. i had never met frank lautenberg of new jersey, who was a senator at the time. and i got this crazy notion to introduce a bill to ban smoking on airplanes, and i didn't have
a chance, not a chance. the entire leadership of the house of representatives opposed me. all the democratic leaders of my party and all the republicans leaders, too. and yet i put the amendment on an appropriations bill -- a transportation appropriations bill -- and through some good luck and breaks, it made it through the rules committee. that wasn't supposed to happen. it turns out that claude pepper of florida, the chairman of the rules committee, when he was a senator years before had been instrumental in starting the national cancer institute. as a southerner, he didn't talk much about tobacco. nobody did from the south in those days. but in his heart he knew that tobacco smoking was killing people. he let me get that amendment to the floor, which shocked everybody. and i remember the day -- this goes back quite a few years now; it's 27 years ago -- i was in the house of representatives, brand-new, calling this amendment to ban smoking on flights of two hours or less --
that's how we started. and i looked up in the gallery and the gallery was filled with flight attendant in their uniforms. they were victims, too, of secondhand smoke. well, we called that measure for a vote, an it passed. it just shocked everybody. it turned out that the house of representatives was the biggest frequent flyer club in america. he was sick and tired of sitting on airplanes and breathing in somebody's else's secondhand smoke. well, there were a few moments of jubilation and celebration and then somebody said, well, what are you going to do in the senate? i thought, oh, my goodness. that is an important part of this. so i decided to call the chairman of the transportation appropriations committee, a fellow named frank lautenberg of new jersey. i didn't know him, but i said to him, frank, i'd like to ask you a favor. would you consider offering this bill as an amendment to the senate transportation appropriations bill? he said, i'll get back to you.
and he did -- in a hurry. he said, i'm on board. let's do it together. well, it was the best phone call i ever made. and for the people of this country and those who fly on airplanes, that team of lautenberg and durbin managed to pass a bill signed in to law which did much more than we ever dreamed of. we thought this little idea of taking smoking off airplanes would make flight a little more comfortable and safer from a health point of view. neither frank nor i realized at the time that it was a tipping point. americans looked around, said if we're going to take smoking off airplanes;, why stop there? trains, buses, offices, hospitals, restaurants -- just look across the board what's happened in america. neither frank nor i saw this coming, but it worked. it's changed this country. it's changed the senate, the house, it's changed this country. and i wouldn't be standing here
today telling you the story were it not for frank lautenberg. he was just the very best partner i ever could have had. the day came when i was elected to the senate, he and i used to go around and tell the story from time to time, reminiscing about that battle back in 1986. frank told us he was once a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker himself. imbut when it came to this bill, he knew the right thing to do. and i was lucky to have him by my side. i couldn't have done it without him. he was the driving force behind a lot of other laws important to america, too. setting the national drinking age at 21, setting the national blood level definition of .08 for drunk driving. just these laws on smoking and drunk driving saved millions of lives thanks to the leadership of frank lautenberg sms he was the last remaining world war ii vet in the senate. just a few weeks ago we lost
danny inouye. he used to sit right here, served in world war ii as well. he passed away -- frank did -- early this morning in new york. he is survived by his wife bonnie. bonnie in engelhart lautenberg, what a good person she is. i left a message saying, standing by frank's side made big difference in the years that they were together. they were a great, great partnership. in addition, he is survived by children -- six children, 13 grandchildren. he was a leader on environmental protection, transportation, protecting public health. he authored the law that prevented domestic abuser abusem possessing guns. it looks pretty obvious. turns out police organizations were opposing him because policemen, some of them, had
been accused of domestic abuse and they couldn't carry gun with the lautenberg amendment. frank stood his ground. he cowrote the new g.i. bill for the 21st century, a man who was a beneficiary of the original g.i. bill in world war ii teamed up with jim webb from the state of virginia. the two of them put together a g.i. bill that our men and women who served are richly deserving. he offered the toxic right to know law, another great law that he and i cosponsored. it came to -- down to a question of the chemicals that are put in fabric in our furniture, which sadly are leeched out and get into the environment of our homes, many times affecting small children. frank was quick to be the leader on that issue. even though his state of new jersey is one of a lot of chemical manufacturers and produce,he led in this effort to protect families and children. he wrote the law to create the patterson great falls national
historic park. after he cast his 9,000th vote in december of 2011, senator harry reid proclaimed on the floor that frank lautenberg has been one of the most productive members in the senate of the herhistory. at the time of his resignation announcement, he set out the agenda for his remaining two years before he left the senate. refor the purposing the u.s. chemical safety larks improving gun safety and providing federal resources from new jersey to rebuild from superstorm sandy. we owe it to frank and in his memory to make sure those things are to be. i know that bob menendez, his friend and close colleague from new jersey, will pick up that gauntlet and proceed to carry on in frank's frame. frank's -- in francs naivment he used to say that avenues success in business. he was. and he understood the mind of the businessman. but he never, ever lost touch
with the common man and people who counted on him in new jersey and around the united states. the united states senate is going to miss frank lautenberg. i'm going to miss a great pal. i am going to miss one of the best dinner companions you could ever dream up in washington, d.c. we're going to join together wednesday up in new york for a memorial service. i'm sure it will be widely attended because frank did a lot of things for a lot of people over the course of his years in public service. i'm going to miss him. mr. president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
subject, and i'll speak further about my dear colleague, senator lautenberg. when i look at the flowers on his -- on his desk, it seems the years i've been here i've seen too many of my colleagues' flowers there. of course every day that frank lautenberg has been here, i've had the privilege of serving with him. a dear, dear friend. i missed him when he left the senate and was overjoyed when he came back to the senate. he is a man who cared about his country, cared about the senate, cared about the people, a man who started from humble beginnings, became extremely wealthy, spent a lot of that
time giving that wealth away. and helping he others. our last combat veteran -- actually last veteran from world war ii to serve in this body. many of us have gotten to know him and spend time hearing of those horrendous times in europe during world war ii. we're better for it. we realize a person who served the country more than any of the rest of us did during that time. so i'll speak further about my friend frank lautenberg. i know marcel and i extend our love to bonnie and his children, his family. mr. president, if i might ask consent to continue as though in morning business. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, before the senate went into recess i was disappointed with statements made to the senate that misstated the history of judge srinivasan confirmation process. it said the senate made no effort to have a hearing on judge srinivasan until late last year was misinformed and so stating what he did, he misinformed the united states senate. we made efforts in the fall before the election to schedule such a hearing and we tphud our push -- renewed our push to have a hearing on the nomination before the end of the session. i had been accommodating republican objections by not scheduling a hearing before the end of last year. these erroneous records -- these erroneous statements to the rest of the united states senate had me wondering whether i should be
so accommodating. republicans scheduling demands and requests, they then forget their demands, their efforts to avoid responsibility and blame others. in other words, they request a delay and then say well, of course it's somebody else's fault that we had the delay. judge srinivasan was nominated june 11, 2012, during a summer when senate republicans were in the process of constricting the confirmation process. and intent on their misapplication of the so-called thurmond rule to stall judicial nominees before the presidential election. it was only in may of this year that the senate completed action on 19 nominees held on the senate executive calendar -- as
of may 2012 the senate completed action of the 19 nominees held on the senate executive calendar in 2011. republicans within the process of filibustering a nominee to the ninth circuit from arizona. interestingly enough, the person they were filibustering had been recommended by jon kyl of arizona, the deputy republican leader, of course a republican senator. senators were dragging of confirmations of judicial nominees who had been nominated in the fall of 2011 and the early months of 2012. even filibustered a tenth circuit nominee from oklahoma who had been supported by the two republican senators from oklahoma, in what was the first filibuster of the circuit court nominee reported in a bipartisan support by the judiciary committee. throw out all the presses, throw out all the rule books, throw out everything democrats and
republicans have done in the past. it is going to be our way or the highway. and even when the president of the united states, in trying to reach out, nominates a judge supportinged by the two republican senators of that state, a judge report out by a bipartisan vote by the judiciary committee committee said what the heck, president obama nominated him. let's filibuster him. this is wrong. it is petty. it is beneath the united states senate of america. they filibustered a first circuit nominee from may who is supported by the two republican senators from maine. in fact, republicans have filibustered the earlier nomination the indicate -- caitlin halligan to the d.c. circuit. anybody who needs to be refreshing reread my statements of june 6, june 12, june 18,
july 10, july 16, july 23, july 30, august 2, september 10, september 20, november 30, december 3, december 6, december 11, december 13 and december 17. unlike the misstatements made to the united states senate, that's where the facts are, in those statements of mine. on july 19, 2012, i determined that the paperwork of the srinivasan nomination was complete and the nominee could be included in a hearing. by practice as chairman of the judiciary committee, in an effort to be fair, to do something not always done by others, to give the minority notice and allow consultation before scheduling that nomination for a hearing. at that time the next july hearing had been discussed is when they voted the nominee to head the antitrust division at the department of justice. the nomination itself had been delayed to which there was
republican opposition. during the august recess my staff asked senator grassley about holding the hearing on the srinivasan nomination in september. they raised objections and concerns about proceeding with the d.c. circuit at that time, but agreed to proceed with four district nominees and a court of international trade nominee. in november 2012, after the american people solidly reelected president obama, we raised the need for a hearing of the d.c. circuit nomination again. republicans objected, not withstanding the precedent of holding a hearing for one of president bush's d.c. circuit nominees during a similar lame-duck session. instead they said no, no, no. it's all right to do it with a republican president, but not for this democratic president barack obama, we can't do it for him. i know you allowed it for president george w. bush.
but after all, he's different. he was a republican president. we can't do it for this democratic president. instead they wanted to proceed to district court nominees during the lame duck. and they insisted the srinivasan hearing be put off until the next congress and the new year. in deference to republicans, we held it off. they agreed they had be included in the first nominations here in the 113th congress. but then in early january of this year when called upon to hold up their end of the bargain, whoops. they insisted the nominee and others be interviewed, scores of documents to stall. in other words, having made an agreement, they backed out of it. the nomination could not have been the lawyer who handled the phagner case. in fact, the u.s. was not party
to the magner case. it was obvious in slowing him up, they were really trying to go after the president's nominee to be labor secretary. you've got wheels within wheels. so after months of attempts to get committee republicans to focus on the nominee at hand, when insisting on wide-ranging, hand-wringing nomination of tom perez, a nominee not pending before the judiciary committee, they finally agreed to include srinivasan at the judiciary committee on april 10, 2013, nearly a year later. seven months after the hearing had first been proposed. now, as i noted in my november 12 hearing statement as chairman, i do not jam the minority with judicial confirmation hearings the way my republican predecessor did. i was trying to bring the senate back to the way it should be, the same way it did during the immigration hearing.
i did not want to go back to what we had to face when they were in charge. i think no good deed goes unpunished. we had 11 confirmation hearings in 2012. in light of the senate's recess schedule for the election cycle we held only two after the august recess. the nominations included at those hearings were those agreed to with a ranking minority member. i now see that when you try to work it out and we keep our word, we keep our word, all we get is recrimination from the other side. that is not the senate i've been proud to serve in for 38 years. this nominee was praised at the hearing, proceeded to answer scores of written questions at the hearing. it provided for action on may 9,
2013. and what has become standard practice for the republicans on the judiciary committee, they still insist on holding him over for another week for no good reason. i protected their right on that even though it has been abused in a way i have never seen it in 38 years. and then -- let's talk about this person they kept stalling and stalling and stalling is so controversial. well, we finally got to a vote in the committee. it was 18-0. there are only 18 members on the committee. when it got to the senate, it was unanimous. this man has been made to dangle out there for month after month, three-quarters of the year more, dangle because he's so controversial and he comes through unanimouslily. they even insisted the senate
vote on his confirmation be delayed two weeks after memorial day recess. finally it was too much for our majority leader. he filed a cloture petition, and we had the vote before memorial day. having waited nearly a year, it's about time. he probably or probably had something to say, it's really their cloture vote. well, they had to be forced to have the vote. now, i have made significant efforts to make sure the minority is prepared to move ahead on the nomination before we schedule a hearing. my staff routinely gives them our plan weeks in advance. even routinely after the list of nominees because the minority has not yet taken the time to read basic material on the nominations despite its availability for weeks, sometimes months, something a law clerk could have done in 20 minutes. but this highly paid
professional staff can't get around to do it. i'm disappointed, despite the fact that i have bent over backwards to accommodate them. senate republicans contend i made no effort, no effort to hold judge srinivasan's hearing last fall. one republican senator said during the debate the delay must have been my choice because that decision is solely within the control of the democratic majority, this from the side that has caused more filibusters than in the history of this country. come, do they really think the american people are that gullible? i think not. when i -- we had the policeman of the year awards this morning early this morning in the mansfield room, and i looked up
at that painting of mike mansfield, i thought how wonderful it was to come here when he was majority leader. i remember him saying one thing, though. senators, no matter what their party, should always keep their word and on the floor of the senate should always tell the truth. that was good advice. i wish people would start following it. mr. president, i see the distinguished senator from michigan, the chair of our senate agriculture committee on the floor. if i could take 30 seconds longer just to say with her here, what i said about her in vermont, the group of farmers this past week, the senate is blessed to have her as chair. nobody has done it better. i can speak with some experience. she brought through a wonderful bipartisan farm bill last year.
the other body did not take it up. she is going to bring through a wonderful one this year. i hope they will. i want to say with her on the floor the same thing i said about her and the state of vermont, how proud every one of us are of her. this is a group of republicans and democrats. they all agreed. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of s. 954 which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 73, s. 9 54, a bill to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2018. ms. stabenow: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you, mr. president. before the distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee leaves the floor and the former chair of the agriculture committee leaves the floor, i just want to thank him for not being only a wonderful role model for me in chairing the agriculture committee, but also for the way in which he conducts the judiciary committee with an even hand, fairness,
giving every member the opportunity to make their case, whether it's legislation coming through, gun violence or immigration or whether it's judicial nominations. i just want to thank senator leahy for being the model of a statesman in all that he does, and i agree with him that we need to move forward in a fair and open bipartisan way and filling the nominations of our judiciary. so i just want to thank you very much. mr. president, we are resuming the consideration of the farm bill, the agricultural reform and food and jobs bill, but i do want to take a moment before doing that, as many colleagues have already done and many, many more will do to pay a very special tribute to a dear friend and a colleague, senator frank lautenberg of new jersey. i was deeply saddened, as we all were today, to learn that he had
passed away during the night, and my thoughts and prayers are with bonnie and the whole family as i know that they are grieving now because of this special loss that they feel and that we will all feel. he was the kind of senator we won't see again, a world war ii veteran. we have lost our world war ii veterans. he defended freedom against some of the most evil forces of the 20th century, and he was truly a member of the greatest generation of americans. we saw him battle cancer and survive. we have seen him come to the floor time after time on behalf of the people of new jersey and our country to fight for what he believed was right with tremendous courage. i dare say he is one of the lions of the senate, serving for nearly 30 years, casting over
9,000 votes on behalf of the state and the people that he loved. what makes congress special is that we all come from all walks of life. all kinds of areas. that's what makes a great democracy, as we know. that's what gives us our strength, not a weakness. senator lautenberg was the son of jewish immigrants. he went to school on the g.i. bill like my dad did. after defending our country. and he went on to become a successful businessman, developing one of the most successful payroll companies in the world. so we are proud to have senator lautenberg speaking for what it means to be a success in creating jobs, and he has been a wonderful voice in that regard. he found his true calling in public service, though, and we all know that. during his five terms in the united states senate, he was one of the most fearless fighters on a whole range of things. he has made a permanent mark on
the quality of life of americans, strengthening drunk driving laws, passing the ban on smoking, on airplanes, preventing those convicted of domestic violence from possessing guns, authoring legislation to help the public discover what pollutants are being released into their neighborhoods, and cowriting the new g.i. bill for the 21st century, and i could go on and on with so many other things. i am proud to have worked with him to champion cleaning up our beaches, all along our coasts and our great lakes, working to increase the awareness and treatment of autism and fighting to make sure that women have access to the health care that we need and deserve. he was a true fighter for the rights of all americans, and he will be greatly missed. so once again, i would send my thoughts and prayers to his family, his wife bonnie.
she herself an amazing woman in her own right, and their children and their grandchildren at this very difficult time. as we return to the debate on the farm bill today, mr. president, it's important to note that what we do this week will reflect just how committed we are to 16 million americans who depend on agriculture for their livelihood, and all americans who depend on their success for the safest, most affordable abundant food supply in the world. we have to lead by example. we can't kick the can down the road. we in the senate have already worked hard together on this farm bill. it passed out of the agriculture committee with broad bipartisan support. on the floor, we have had a good debate and a number of votes, and we're close to finishing the bill, and we need to get it done this week. i will notice that it was just a
year ago that we were also working on this bill. at that time after coming out of committee on a strong bipartisan vote as well, we had 73 record roll call votes, mr. president. 73 record roll call votes. and every one of the substantive amendments that was passed on the floor is already in this bill, so we started with the work that we did a year ago and the amendments of colleagues that were passed on the floor of the senate, and now we are building on that with additional ideas, and we know that it's time to bring this to a close and be able to get this done so we can move forward and make sure that the people who rely on agriculture policy, conservation policy, nutrition, energy policy, rural development, every community outside of our major
cities depends on rural development funds in order to be able to provide economic development, build the water and sewer project, provide a loan for a small business, they are all counting on us to get this done so they have some long-term certainty. this is a jobs bill, and the five-year bill in front of us needs to get passed so they have certainty about how to plan for the future and how to continue to create jobs. we also need to pass this bill because we need to stop unnecessary spending, and we do that in this bill. we need to also ensure that consumers will continue to have a safe, healthy and affordable food supply, and we need to come together to show once again that we can work together across party lines, as we have done on this legislation. it's important to get this done this week. i'm very proud of the fact that after last year being the only committee that produced a
voluntary deficit reduction plan, we went through every single page of the policy under the farm bill, and i ask that we determine does it duplicate something else, does it work, is it needed anymore, is it worthy of taxpayer dollars? and at the end of that, we had eliminated 100 different programs or authorizations, some by consolidating, strengthening them like in conservation. others we just eliminated because it didn't make sense, things like direct payment subsidies that didn't make sense, and all together last year, we were able to produce $23 billion in savings. well, this year we are back at it again, we looked at a couple of other things, and it's $24 billion in savings to reduce the deficit. now, to put that in some kind of a context under the across-the-board cuts that we've all known now to be called the sequester, across-the-board cuts over the next ten years for
every agency, in agriculture that across-the-board cut is $6 billion. so we could have said, well, sequester is $6 billion, we'll find $6 billion in savings. we didn't do that. we found four times as much savings by saying we want to make sure that we can come to the floor of the senate and tell every colleague that there's integrity in every program, that we have done everything we can to cut duplication, to create accountability and provide policies that make sense for the american taxpayer. so we don't do subsidies anymore. we do insurance. we partner with farmers to buy insurance so they have got skin in the game and then they don't receive a check, they get a bill for the insurance, but just like any other insurance, there is no payout unless you have a loss. so that's the basic structure. we have done a tremendous amount to also hone in on areas of
frankly misuse or abuse in policy as it relates to the commodity title as well. for instance, we -- this bill caps payments in the commodity program to half of what they currently are. so we cut in half the current limit on what can be received by an individual farmer. and senator grassley, senator tim johnson deserve tremendous credit. senator grassley as a member of our committee has championed these reforms and payments for years. this is the first farm bill they have actually put in the base bill. so we are putting in half the payments. we close something called the manager's loophole to ensure that so-called farm managers have to actually be farming. they have to actually be farming, mr. president, to get a farm payment. now, today "the washington post" has an article that i would
encourage folks to actually read today who talks about folks who are in manhattan and georgetown and live in multimillion-dollar homes and receive these payments. they're not farmers. because of the current structure and the lack of accountability and focus, they are actually getting this. they don't get that anymore under this bill. important reforms. this bill saves money by tightening the rules to prevent fraud and misuse in our nutrition programs. our nutritional programs are critical, mr. president, critical and essential, just as crop insurance is there when a farmer has a disaster, food programs are there when a family has a disaster. but we know as in anything else that there are others where there can be abuse or waste. in my own home state, much to my chagrin, we have seen lottery winners continue to receive food assistance. we stop that. we crack down on retailers
engaged in trafficking of benefits, and we prevent states from allowing some individuals to claim expenses they don't really have in order to increase their benefits. by ending the misuse but making sure that we keep the standard benefits for every man, woman and child who deserves some temporary help, we are putting more integrity into the food programs. and i would argue we need to make sure that we stand strong against the cuts to actual people that are coming from the house of representatives. when we talk about food assistance for folks who paid taxes all their lives and never thought in their wildest dreams they would ever need help, they're mortified, find themselves out of work and need to know somebody there to help put food on the table until they get back on their feet. our bill does that while creating accountability.
and i'm very proud of the work that our committee has done. we also have streamlined programs not only to save dollars but to create more flexibility and the area of conservation is one that there's been tremendous work done in, and we have over 650 conservation, viral groups across the country that are endorsing our work in conservation, even though we took 23 conservation programs and cut it down to 13, and then put it in four different very flexible areas, they see it as an an improvement because we're cutting down on the paperwork, making it more flexible for farmers, for community groups to be able to access conservation programs and we're actually saving money as we're doing that. we also in this bill as you know have codified a very important agreement that environmentalists, conservation groups, and farm commodity
group leaders have come to in supporting crop insurance and making sure that those who receive crop insurance are compliant with conservation. a very, very important policy and i want to commend everybody who worked so hard on it. and once again as we go into this week i want to remind colleagues this is a jobs bill. agriculture is a bright spot in our economy. it's the only area where we actually have a trade surplus. and the farm bill investigates in automatic -- invests in a number of areas to boost exports to help family farmers sell more goods locally. we do some changes, wile we are cutting in certain areas we increase in others. that's what we ought to do when you make good policy decisions. we've increased funding for farmers' markets, local food hubs, the ability for schools to be able to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables locally, things that create jobs locally. we have spurred innovations in
new biobased manufacturing, not just bioenergy but we can replace chemicals and petroleum with things like soibl oil and other -- soibl oil and other products that create jobs and get us off of foreign oil. there are new initiatives in the farm bill that allow us to do that as well. mr. president, it vl a time for reform -- really is a time for reform and the policies that fall under what we dub the farm bill. and this bill, i believe, and i think it's safe to say is the most reform we have seen in decades. we've done on a bipartisan basis. we've made tough votes, tough decisions, but i believe he they are the right decisions in terms of reforms. this is a bipartisan effort coming out of committee 15-5 and i hope and expect a strong bipartisan vote as we had a year ago as well. and this really is a jobs bill.
it really is a jobs bill, and in order to keep it a set of jobs policies, our farmers and ranchers need to have the economic certainty of getting this country and having a five-year policy that will allow them to plan and to continue to create the safest, most affordable food supply for americans of anyone in the world. so it's time to get it done. we're anxious to work with colleagues this week to do that. thank you, mr. president. i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be --. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent i be recognized as if in morning business for what ciem i may consume. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. inhofe: thank you, mr. president. tomorrow the senate is -- the armed services committee is going to hold a hearing on on the pending legislation regarding the sexual assault in the military. now, lately we've been bombarded, inundated with news reports about sexual assault in the military, our nation can't lose sight of the fact we have the finest military in the world, the presence of sexual predators in our forces does not take away from the overwhelming good that's done around the world by our members in uniform.
but the presence of these sexual predators in the ranks needs to be addressed and that's what the military is doing now, with or without our interference. last year's ndaa, the national defense authorization act, signed into law, that was in january of this year, 2013, included ten new provisions dealing with sexual assault that commanders have barely had time to begin implementing let alone to assess the effectiveness of these. yet someone to provide still more changes in the law this year. these commanders need time to act. you can't keep piling new demands on our commanders until they have had had time to meet the previous demands. that's what the hearing really tomorrow is all about. we're going to be talking about more demands along these lines. now, today sexual assault has not been eliminated but we're working on it. the battle is not lost, more
needs to be done, we understand that and more is going to be done but we've got to preserve the leadership tools that make our forces the finest in the world. one such tool has been to give commanders authority to identify and correct problems firmly and fairly and dispose of disciplinary offenses that destroy morale and readiness. that's why i oppose the proposals to eliminate the role of the commander in this process. to take the commander out of the process will invite failure. these commanders have to make decisions to send our brave troops into battle. how ludicrous is it we could would say to our commanders you've got to make a decision to send our kids into battle where they may end up losing their lives, however, you can't participate in the justice system of the troops. it doesn't make any sense at all. as we consider the many proposals to combat sexual assault in the military we can't lose sight of the importance to do three things -- prevent,
protect, and preserve. protect the critical role of the commander in driving the cultural change and accountability. we've got to prevent case disposition authority from being transferred outside the chain of command, the chain of command we all -- those of us who have been in the service know what that is. and thirdly, we've got to preserve the integrity of the uniform code of military justice as an integrated functional system of justice. so first we've got to protect the critical role of the demander. the -- command permit the military is a hire arc write. the most junior recruit quickly learns that there is always someone above him in the military organization. i've been there, i understand that. troops have been instilled in them the need to follow the chain of command. that's what when they do. that's not a social system. this is a chain of command. our military is both an organization of leaders and of followers who are in training to
become leaders. in peacetime or in war, leaders establish clear expectations and aest is cyst on meeting objectives. every job in the military is sport and every job needs to be done correctly because lives depend on it. the security of our nation also depends on it. to ensure the tough jobs get done, the military has a justice system which sets the expectation that decisions have consequences and i might add, bad decisions have consequences also. today there are four major bills which have been introduced to address perceived deficiencies in how the armed services address sexual assault. i think these likely are going to be discussed, maybe not all four of them but some will be discussed in tomorrow's hearing. i believe before we make significant, substantive and procedural changes to the law including the uclmj we need the benefit of adequate review.
we need to think before we act. we've got to prevent case disposition authority from being transferred outside the chain of command. it's a terrible idea to remove authority from -- of commanders to dispose of the military justice offenses. if commanders will be held responsible for abolishing sexual assault, then they must have the tools that they need. some propose establishing colonel level j.a.g.'s, judge advocate generals, instead of commanders as disposition authorities who would decide what cases should go to the courts martial. also on the authority of the commander is the foundation of discipline within the organization. the most junior service member in the organization knows under the current law that their commander has the ability to decide if misconduct should be disposed of through
administrative measures, by nonjudicial punishment or by courts martial. others within the command watch how the commander deals with misconduct. all this stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum, mr. president. people are watching. those individuals who are going to be under the control and command and jurisdiction of a commander have to know how they're doing it. if the commander is not allowed to exercise that authority, it will destroy discipline within the command when discipline declines, the military's ability to key flect threats declines with it. another proposal would create two separate disciplinary systems, one in which the commander is retained limited ability to dispose of minor offenses and another where a judge advocate far removed from the commander decides what offenses go to trial by court-martial. now, how can do two systems
possibly be more efficient and effective than one system in the hands of commanders who are fully vested in the wellness and readiness of our commands? another proposal would revoke designation of certain senior officers who are currently authorized by federal law to conceive -- convene general courts-martial. this has broad implication beyond military justice and require that service to revise hundreds of service regulations. another proposal that i think is worthy of careful review would establish a special victims counsel. the proposal would assign an attorney the victim of sexual assault to provide advice throughout the process from initial complaint of sexual assault through final disposition. the air force has already developed a pilot program. we are doing it now. so the suggestion i think is
good but it's something we're currently doing and wouldn't it be better to wait and get the results of what the air force is doing on their program to determine whether or not this is something with we need we want o continue. i'm willing to consider changes that are consistent with the long-standing traditions of the committee on armed services. in the fiscal year 13 ndaa, national defense authorization act, we created an independent panel to review the ucmj and judicial proceedings of sexual assault cases. the panel is tasked with assessing the response systems used to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate sexual assault and related offenses and to recommend how to improve effectiveness. the commission has only just begun and we must allow the opportunity to do what it was created to do. so we established this thing,
that was just last january, mr. president. we established this and they're busy doing what we asked them to do. the sexual assault cannot be abolished by legislation alone. while we should not wade waite to provide additional tools that could make a difference immediately, we've got to be deliberate in making fundamental changes that could undermine the ucmj and i said we should do three things and this is the third thing. the third thing is to preserve the integrity of the ucmj as an integrated, functional system of justice. since 1951, the ucmj has backed up commanders' authority and their best leadership skills with the force of law. the ucmj is a deployable justice system that has proved to be effective throughout our nation's conflicts. some so believe military justice under the ucmj and the
courts-martial is an undisciplined, informal system. nothing could be further from the truth. the ucmj is a highly developed and codified legal system. the rules of court-martial are the military counterpart to the federal rules of criminal procedure and provide detailed and structured procedural rules. the military rules of evidence are based on the federal rules of evidence. the ucmj has been at the forefront of changes in the civil criminal justice system. in fact, it's been ahead of the civil system. it's -- they're doing things in advance of what the civil system actually does. a rights warning statement similar to the now familiar miranda warnings was required by article 31 of the ucmj a decade and a half before the supreme court decision of miranda v. arizona. the ucmj was offering these protections long before the civil courts did.
same thing with article 38-b. it continued the 1948 articles of war guarantee of qualified defense counsel -- in other words, you can get a defense counsel -- to be provided to all accused at the earliest stages than required under civil jurisdictions. so the military was providing juris -- providing counsel long before the -- the civil system was, yet the u.s. supreme court only guaranteed counsel to the poorest of criminal defendants in 1963. again, ucmj was way ahead of the game. our nation has 238 years of investment in our military justice system, a system of federal law, rules and procedure and evidence and case history interpreting those rules that form the foundation for one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated justice systems the world has ever known. the ucmj is not static and unchanging. it's continuously been updated.
article 146, the ucmj requires an annual comprehensive update. the joint service committee reviews recommendations to modify the ucmj on a regular basis. some remain committed to yet another round of changes to the law and, in fact, the recently passed fiscal year 2013 ndaa included some ten legislative changes addressing sexual assault in the military. the services need adequate time to implement recent legal changes and give them the tools to fight the -- these assaults. now, stop and think about it. just last january, we gave ten new rules for them to an exposh put into play -- absorb and put into play, and they haven't had time to do that yet, and yet we're talking about having a meeting and putting together something that would be -- would be may even contradicting what we've already told them to do. some would criticize our commanders and the entire military justice system because of a recent case in which the
court -- a court-martial conviction was set aside. if you take time to look at the statistics, you'll see commanders have only set aside findings of guilty in about 1% of the cases. the marine commanders only set aside findings in seven cases out of 1,768 cases, mr. president, or that's 0.4%, let's than 1%. the air force commanders only set aside findings of 40 in 3,713 cases over five years. that's 1%. the army commanders set aside findings of only 68 of 4,603 cases since 2008. the navy says its commanders only set aside findings in four of the 16,056 cases that thief tried from 2002 to 2012. that's -- that's -- that's .000 of 1% in a ten-year period.
so clearly the commanders have been doing a good job. the defense legal policy board released a subcommittee on military justice and combat additio --in combat zones just . this was put together, they have experts in there to study this thing. we all agreed this was a good move. and they came out with a report last week. this isn't something that might have happened two or three years ago, it happened just last week. the subcommittee began its work on july the 30th, 2012, to assess the application of military justice in combat zones in afghanistan and iraq. this report states, since the beginning of 2001, the army conducted over 800 courts-martial in deployed environments. the navy and marines conducted eight courts-martial in afghanistan and 34 in iraq. the air force conducted three courts-martial in iraq and three in afghanistan. the main theme of the defense legal policy board's
subcommittee hearings and their 208-page report is the need for a joint commander to have a central role in the administration of justice in deployed theatres of operations. now, this is just the opposite of what some people are saying now. they're saying take the commander out of this. i'm going to read this and i'm going to -- this is a quote. this report, mr. president, came out just -- just a week ago. i'm quoting now. "while good order and discipline is important and essential in any military environment, it is especially vital in the deployed environment. the military justice system is the definitive commander's tool to preserve important -- to preserve good order and discipline and nowhere, i repeat, nowhere, is this more important than in a combat zone. a breakdown of good order and discipline while deployed can have a devastating effect on mission effectiveness." i'm still quoting now, mr. president.
this is the report that came out last week. "the joint commander is ultimately responsible for the conduct of his forces. as such, the subcommittee has determined that the joint command must -- commander must" -- and that's capitalized -- "have the authority and apparatus necessary to preserve good order and discipline through the military justice system." let me repeat, this is the last line -- and i'm quoting again -- "as such, the subcommittee" -- the senators were looking at this, they came out with the report last week -- "the subcommittee has determined that the joint commander must have the authority and apparatus necessary to preserve good order and discipline through the military justice system." so the services can do better and -- and they will, but the record clearly demonstrates these commanders take the responsibility very seriously and we should continue to let them lead the men and women of our armed forces into battle, bring them home safely and to use all the tools in the military justice system to
enforce their authority. at the very least, lets -- let's give the commanders a chance to implement the changes we just ordered them to make as recently as last january before we go into imposing more systems on them. so, mr. president, i really believe that we are perhaps -- i know it's popular to do this and say that we have all these sexual harassments and all that, but these figures speak for themselves. these are facts. and i think that we really can't expect our people, our commanders in the field, the ones who are responsible for the life and death of the troops and the troops that they send into harm's way, to -- to continue to spend all of their time making these changes and not even have time to make the changes we made additiomade -- we ordered them o last january. with that, i request the --